About Jean Zimmerman


portrait small jpegJean Zimmerman is a New York-based writer who has made the history of Manhattan a central focus of both her fiction and nonfiction.

Her most recent novel is Savage Girl (Viking, 2014), a mystery with a twist of fable about a “feral child” who gets transformed Pygmalion style into a Gilded Age debutante.

In her debut novel The Orphanmaster (Viking, 2012) she told the story of a beautiful, determined female trader in 1663 New Amsterdam, the Dutch colony at the foot of Manhattan Island, who sees orphans go missing and decides to catch the killer before it’s too late. A love story wrapped around a murder mystery, The Orphanmaster draws on Zimmerman’s copious research into the history of early Manhattan.

Her previous work, Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance (Harcourt, 2012), is a history that focuses on the lives of the great chronicler of New York City, I.N. Phelps Stokes, and his iconic wife Edith—preservationists, philanthropists, and denizens of Gilded Age Manhattan.

Before that, her book The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune and a Dynasty was an Original Voices Selection, Borders, 2006, and Washington Irving Book Selection, Westchester Library Association, 2007.

An honors graduate of Barnard College, Jean Zimmerman earned an MFA in writing from the Columbia University School of the Arts.

She lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.