Zimpel, Lloyd 1929-

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Zimpel, Lloyd 1929-


Born September 2, 1929, in Princeton, MN; son of George and Erna Zimpel; married Nina Youkelson (a teacher), June 16, 1956; children: Benjamin, Jason, Aaron. Education: University of Minnesota, B.A., 1954; graduate study at University of Iowa, 1956-57, and San Francisco State College (now University), 1960-61.


Home—San Francisco, CA. Agent—Ruth Cantor, 156 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.


Writer and state government official. West Coast Life Insurance Co., San Francisco, CA, advertising director, 1959-63; California Fair Employment Practice Commission, San Francisco, education officer, 1963-80. Military service: U.S. Army, 1951-53; served in Korea.


Quill Awards from University of Massachusetts, 1961, 1968, for best short story of the year in Massachusetts Review; National Endowment for the Arts fiction fellowship.


(With Daniel Panger) Business and the Hardcore Unemployed, Fell (New York, NY), 1970.

(Editor) The Disadvantaged Worker, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1971.

Meeting the Bear: Journal of the Black Wars (novel), Macmillan (New York, NY), 1971.

Man against Work, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1974.

A Season of Fire & Ice: Excerpts from the Patriarch's Dakota Journal, with Addenda (novel), Unbridled Books (Denver, CO), 2006.

Contributor to literary and national magazines, including Nation, New Republic, Carleton Miscellany, Transatlantic Review, and Commonweal.


Lloyd Zimpel has written numerous short stories and several books, including the 1971 novel, Meeting the Bear: Journal of the Black Wars. His second novel, A Season of Fire & Ice: Excerpts from the Patriarch's Dakota Journal, with Addenda, was published in 2006 and takes place in the Dakota Territories in the 1880s. "In many ways a morality tale, this brutally realistic picture of life on the plains honors the strength and stamina of the homesteaders in the face of terrible trials, … but it is also a tribute to the values of these men and women, who share whatever they have during difficult times, who help each other, who have faith in a higher power, and who never give up hope," wrote Mary Whipple on the Mostly Fiction Web site.

The story is told primarily via the journal entries of Gerhardt Praeger, a settler with seven sons. Spanning the years 1882 to 1888, the novel follows the father's struggles with nature and his increasingly independent sons. In addition, he is disturbed by homesteader Leo Beidermann, an unfriendly man who nevertheless proves to be a successful farmer and rancher after arriving in the territories in 1882. Praeger's first meeting with Beidermann is ominous as Beidermann's ferocious dogs attack Praeger's horse. As the story unfolds, Praeger is amazed at the almost supernatural way in which Beidermann prospers through all kinds of catastrophes that nearly ruin Praeger and others. Most of all, however, Praeger is unsettled by Beidermann's influence over Praeger's sons and Beidermann's challenges to Praeger's common values.

"By telling the majority of the narrative through Praeger's upright, Calvinistic voice, Zimpel presents a world that seems far removed from our own—even though it's only been 120 years," wrote David Abrams on the January Magazine Web site. "At the same time, there are episodes which leap off the page with vivid descriptions of violence and disaster." Writing in Booklist, Vanessa Bush called A Season of Fire & Ice "a beautifully written novel that offers strong character portrayals."



Booklist, May 1, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review of A Season of Fire & Ice: Excerpts from the Patriarch's Dakota Journal, with Addenda, p. 74.

Library Journal, March 15, 2006, Maureen Neville, review of A Season of Fire & Ice, p. 65.


Curled up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (May 13, 2008), Barb Radmore, review of A Season of Fire & Ice.

January Magazine,http://januarymagazine.com/ (May 13, 2008), David Abrams, "A Time, a Place, a Temperature," review of A Season of Fire & Ice.

Mostly Fiction,http://www.mostlyfiction.com/ (October 6, 2007), Mary Whipple, review of A Season of Fire & Ice.