Herbert Gold

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Herbert Gold
Born (1924-03-09) March 9, 1924 (age 98)
Alma materColumbia University
Spouse(s)Edith Zubrin (m. 1948–1956, divorce),
Melissa Dilworth (1968–1975, divorce)
Children5, including Ari Gold

Herbert Gold (born March 9, 1924) is an American novelist.

Early life[edit]

Gold was born on March 9, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio, in to a Russian Jewish family.[1][2] His parents were Samuel S. and Frieda (Frankel) Gold. His father ran a fruit store and later a grocery store.[3] Gold was raised in Lakewood,[1] a community he was later to memorialize in his first book, Birth of a Hero (1951). He attended Taft Elementary and Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio.[4][5]

Gold moved to New York City at age 17 after several of his poems had been accepted by New York literary magazines. While there, he studied philosophy at Columbia University and became affiliated with the burgeoning Beat Generation, which resulted in a lifelong friendship with writer Allen Ginsberg. His studies were interrupted when he served in the United States Army from 1943 until 1946, during World War II.[5]

He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. degree in 1946,[5] and M.A. degree in 1948.

Despite being intertwined with the literary history of San Francisco which greatly defined the Beat Generation, Gold does not consider himself to have ever been a member of this group of writers.[6][7] In a 2017 interview with Washington Post journalist Jeff Weiss, Gold was referred to as a "Beat-adjacent novelist."[6][7]


Gold won a Fulbright Scholarship (1948–1951) and moved to Paris with his new wife Edith Zubrin, and while in Paris where he finished his first novel.[1] He attended classes at the Sorbonne in Paris during his Fulbright Scholarship.

After that, he moved around as he wrote, traveling to Haiti and Detroit, and hitchhiking all over the United States. He finally settled in San Francisco, where he became a fixture in the literary scene. In 1958 Gold taught English literature at Cornell University, as Vladimir Nabokov's successor.

Genesis West (Vol. 6), was published in the Winter of 1964 with an interview of Herbert Gold by Gordon Lish.

Personal life[edit]

Gold was married to writer and professor Edith Zubrin from 1948 until 1956, ending in divorce.[8][9] From this marriage Gold is father of daughters Ann Gold and Judith Gold.[9][8] Edith Zubrin died in 2000.[9]

Gold was married to the daughter of J. Richardson Dilworth, Melissa Dilworth, from 1968 until 1975, with whom he had three children: daughter Nina Gold and twin boys Ari Gold and Ethan Gold.[8][10] After they divorced, Melissa married again, and she later became involved with concert promoter Bill Graham.[10] She died with Graham in an accidental helicopter crash in 1991.[10]

In contrast to many in the Beat Generation, Gold has lived in an apartment in San Francisco's more conservative, tourist friendly Russian Hill neighborhood since 1961.[6][7]



  • Gold, Herbert (1951). Birth of a Hero. Viking Press. ISBN 978-0670169252.
  • Gold, Herbert (1955). Room Clerk, Original Title: The Prospect Before Us. Signet Skid-Row.
  • Gold, Herbert (1956). The Man Who Was Not With It. Little, Brown. ISBN 0-912697-69-5.
  • Gold, Herbert (1959). The Optimist: A Novel. An Atlantic Monthly Press Book. Little, Brown.
  • Gold, Herbert (1960). Therefore Be Bold, A Novel. Dial Press.
  • Gold, Herbert (1963). Salt: A Novel. Dial Press.
  • Gold, Herbert (1966). Fathers: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir. ISBN 0-87795-550-6.
  • Gold, Herbert (1969). The Great American Jackpot. Random House.
  • Gold, Herbert (1972). My Last Two Thousand Years (autobiography). Random House. ISBN 978-0394470986.
  • Gold, Herbert (1973). The Young Prince and the Magic Cone. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-01519-4.
  • Gold, Herbert (1974). Swiftie the Magician. McGraw Hill. ISBN 9780070236455.
  • Gold, Herbert (1977). Waiting for Cordelia. New York City, New York: Arbor House. ISBN 9780877951544.[11]
  • Gold, Herbert (1979). Slave Trade. New York City, New York: Arbor House. ISBN 978-0877952176.
  • Gold, Herbert (1980). He/She. New York City, New York: Arbor House. ISBN 9780877952640.
  • Gold, Herbert (1981). Family: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir. Primus library of contemporary Americana. New York City, New York: Arbor House. ISBN 9780877953326.
  • Gold, Herbert (1982). True Love. New York City, New York: Arbor House. ISBN 9780877954255.
  • Gold, Herbert (1984). Mister White Eyes: A Novel. New York City, New York: Arbor House. ISBN 9780877956365.
  • Gold, Herbert (1986). A Girl of Forty. New York City, New York: D.I. Fine. ISBN 9780917657634.
  • Gold, Herbert (1991). Best Nightmare on Earth: A Life in Haiti. Jan Morris (introduction). Prentice Hall Press. ISBN 9780133723274.
  • Gold, Herbert (1994). Bohemia: Digging the Roots of Cool. Touchstone. ISBN 9780671886080.
  • Gold, Herbert (2014). She Took My Arm As If She Loved Me: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group. ISBN 9781466883307.
  • Gold, Herbert (2008). Still Alive!: A Temporary Condition (memoir). Arcade Pub. ISBN 9781559708708.
  • Gold, Herbert (2015). When a Psychopath Falls in Love. Portland, Oregon: Jorvik Press. ISBN 978-0988412279.

Essays and short stories[edit]

  • Gold, Herbert (1960). Love and Like (short stories).[12]
  • Gold, Herbert (1962). The Age of Happy Problems (essays).
  • Gold, Herbert (1971). The Magic Will: Stories & Essays. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781412837699.
  • Gold, Herbert (1981). A Walk on the West Side (short stories and essays).


  1. ^ a b c "Herbert Gold Biography". Ohio Reading Road Trip. Retrieved 2021-04-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Teicholz, Tom (2008-08-17). "THE IMMORTAL MR. GOLD". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  3. ^ Robert Kaiser: Carnival and Chaos: An Interview with Herbert Gold. In: The Paris Review, 31 May 2018.
  4. ^ McFerrin, Linda Watanabe (2015-11-17). "Literary Salon: Herbert Gold, Author of When a Psychopath Falls in Love". Left Coast Writers. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  5. ^ a b c "Herbert Gold papers, 1951-1984". Columbia University Libraries Archive Collection, Columbia University. Retrieved 2021-04-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b c Weiss, Jeff (June 30, 2017). "The Beat Generation". Washington Post. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "Catching Up With Five Surviving Members Of the Beat Generation In Northern California". SFist. July 5, 2021. Archived from the original on December 5, 2021. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Herbert Gold. In: Joel Shatzky, Michael Taub: Contemporary Jewish-American Novelists: A Bio-critical Sourcebook. Greenwood Press, 1997, ISBN 978-0-31329-462-4, p. 116 ff.
  9. ^ a b c "UIC Professor Edith Zubrin Harnett". Chicago Tribune. February 12, 2000. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  10. ^ a b c "Melissa Gold, 47, Aide For California Causes". The New York Times. 1991-10-28. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  11. ^ Gold, Herbert (1977-05-22). "Waiting For Cordelia". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  12. ^ Adams, Robert Martin (Summer 1960). "Book Review: The Short Stories of Herbert Gold". The Hudson Review. Retrieved 2021-04-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]