Gilda Trillim: Shepherdess of Rats

Gilda Trillim: Shepherdess of Rats

Steven L. Peck’s intriguing, literary narrative follows Gilda Trillim’s many adventures; from her origins on a potato farm in Idaho, to an Orthodox Convent in the Soviet Union, to her life as a badminton champion… When Gilda is taken prisoner during the Vietnam war, she finds comfort in the company of the rats who cohabit her cell. Follow Gilda as she struggles to comprehend the meaning of life in this uncanny, philosophical novel which explores Mormonism, spirituality and what it means to be human.


What People Are Saying

Beautifully bizarre! I could not have taken this dizzying journey except for a master hand leading me through the surprising giggles into the even more surprising blessings of grace, wisdom and healing. I really don’t think Gilda is fiction, for I fell in love with her, and as she and I both know, love is stunningly real. Carol Lynn Pearson—Poet, and author of ‘The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy: Haunting the Hearts and Heaven of Mormon Women and Men’


This quixotic novel may well be one of the best stories ever to emerge from the Mormon imagination. Gilda Trillim is a complex, delightful character who calls forth the very best in human (and rodent) nature. Jana Riess—Author of ‘Flunking Sainthood’ and ‘The Twible’


What a mad, marvelous, and compulsively fascinating heroine Steven Peck has created in this novel–a woman who can spend a year painting pictures of an apple seed and write a novel describing the contents of a single drawer. By carefully scrutinizing these microcosmos of everyday life, Gilda Trillim (but really Steven Peck) starts to answer some of the biggest questions of all, like “Where did God come from?”, “How do complex patterns emerge from random chaos?”, and “Why does anything even exist at all? Michael Austin—Author of ‘Useful Fictions: Evolution, Anxiety, and the Origins of Literature’ and ‘Rereading Job: Understanding the Ancient World’s Greatest Poem’


Like The Scholar of MoabA Short Stay in Hell, and Wandering Realities, Steven L. Peck’s Gilda Trillim: Shepherdess of Rats is a victory for the Mormon imagination in the twenty-first century. No one breathes life into the inner world of the Mormon misfit better than Peck. His writing is as complex and sophisticated as it is delightful and engaging. He shows why contemporary Mormon literature deserves a wider readership. Scott Hales—author of ‘The Garden of Enid: Adventures of a Weird Mormon Girl’


Peck’s novel-disguised-as-master’s-thesis pushes not only the boundaries of genre but those of humanity and faith as well. Gilda Trillum’s narrative is simultaneously absurd, grotesque, marvelous, and poignant—we need her messy spirituality, the euphoric animal vomit that is her manna from heaven, for through it she teaches us that madness and destruction can be vehicles for exploring the unreachable and communing with the invisible. Once again, Peck gives us a crucial contribution to Mormon letters which explores familiar paths like the atonement, as well as the more uncharted terrain of the feminine divine, with grace and insight.” —Emily Gilliland Grover, Professor of English, Brigham Young University–Idaho


Gilda Trillim has sprung from Steven Peck’s head as fully-formed and singular a woman as you’ll ever meet. Hers is an engrossing, uncanny world, pulled into existence by an author at the peak of his creative power. Absolutely compulsive reading. Emily H. Butler–Author of ‘Freya and Zoos’


You are one of the lucky few to be living on this very planet at a time when a physical copy of Gilda Trillim’s wit and wisdom can be placed into your waiting hands. I envy the roller coaster of colorful images and wrenching emotions your mind is about to enjoy as you uncover Gilda’s spunk and spontaneity as a one-handed naturalist who writes creatively, paints particularly, and has a wicked badminton return. Come with her as she susses out the meaning of love through engaging with potheads and fishheads and attempt to understand her wide-reaching philosophical musings that stretch across the cosmos and then constrict into the core of an appleseed. Even though you are not a rat (unless you are and then congratulations for getting your paws upon this scripture!) you will find much to learn about the universe and finding one’s place within it. By willing the one-handed, full-hearted, and perhaps-insane Gilda Trillim into existence, Steven Peck again captures the wonder and failings of being human and the mystical connections between the natural and religious world that make life so delightfully complicated. Emily W, Jensen—Writer, blogger, and editor of ‘A Book of Mormons’