Texting Olivia


Texting Olivia is a funny, fast-paced, modern take on the epistolary novel, using phone texts and calls instead of letters as the main form of communication. Fay is a paralegal in her forties with thwarted career ambitions, which she blames on her mother. Indeed, she has done almost everything opposite to her own upbringing in raising Olivia. But Fay’s assumptions about what it means to be a good mother—and also a good daughter—are put to the test when she and her husband take a madcap trip from New Jersey to San Francisco to help Olivia move out of her dorm.
“A daughter’s growing independence forces a mother to confront, for the first time, her own fight for acceptance and freedom as a daughter herself. Humorous and painful by turns, lively, engaging.” -Shelley Salamensky, Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Harvard University
“Epistolary novels like The Color Purple and White Tiger have redefined novel writing. So too has Galya Gerstman in her humorous and original text and tweets novel where characters say all that they can in brief and compelling ways. We the reader are privvy to the quick paced funny modern life she tells so well.” -Esther Cohen is the author of BOOK DOCTOR and six other books
“A modern, witty, yet heartbreakingly honest portrayal of what it means to be a mother–and a daughter. Beautifully written, with surprising turns around every corner.” -Pauline Harris Editorial
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GALYA GERSTMAN was born in New Jersey. She obtained her BA in Creative Writing at Barnard College and her PhD in French Literature from Columbia University in New York. She taught at Tel Aviv University before moving to Costa Rica to marry and begin a family and a writing career. She has published articles in academic journals and humorous essays in Scary Mommy and other online media. Her experience sending her kids off to college provided background and inspiration for Texting Olivia.

Youtube video of Galya Gerstman reading an excerpt of Texting Olivia at her launch in Costa Rica

Article Links to humorous true stories and Galya’s perceptions about life and raising children:
Traveling With Grown Kids: What Were We Thinking?

Additional information




5.5 x 8.5, Hardback, eBook, Paperback

Page/Word Count

188 pages

Publish Date


2 reviews for Texting Olivia

  1. Diana Rawlinson

    So I’ve read it today, in one sitting because it flows so easily! I loved it. Clever, funny, sad, moving and very relatable. You’ve adeptly explored a situation so eternal and updated it to the modern era without being too ‘try hard’ with the texting and the abbreviations, it all works beautifully. I felt sorry for Fay at first, that she made herself such a doormat, but in the end she ferreted out the truth of her own feelings with a smart and heartwarming resolution.

  2. Mark Schrieber, author of Amanda911 and the Twitter President

    “Texting Olivia is a sharply written, highly entertaining comedy of errors…. Gerstman leaves us wondering…about our own inter-generational relationships.”

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