Murdock, Catherine Gilbert

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Murdock, Catherine Gilbert

(Catherine Gilbert)


Married James Murdock; children: two. Education: Bryn Mawr College, graduated 1988; University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D.


Home—PA. Agent—Anderson Grinberg Literary Management, 244 5th Ave., 11th Fl., New York, NY 10001. E-mail—[email protected].




Domesticating Drink: Women, Men, and Alcohol in America, 1870-1940, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1998.

Dairy Queen (young-adult novel), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.

The Off Season (young-adult novel; sequel to Dairy Queen), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.


Dairy Queen was adapted for audio, read by Natalie Moore, Listening Library, 2006.


Catherine Gilbert Murdock's first foray into fiction was a young-adult novel set in rural Wisconsin. Dairy Queen is narrated by fifteen-year-old D.J. Schwenk, the only girl in a household full of boys. Her two older brothers play college football, and her younger brother plays at the local school. The members of D.J.'s family do not convey their feelings easily, and there is an emotional chasm between her father and older brothers, while her younger brother, Curtis, barely speaks to anyone. When her father is injured, D.J. picks up the slack on their farm by milking the cows, baling hay, and shoveling manure. All of these extra chores cut into her basketball-playing and studying time, resulting in lowered grades. D.J. also tutors quarterback Brian Nelson, the privileged and self-centered star of the rival high school football team, at the request of his coach, a family friend. She falls for him, and then decides that she wants to try out for her own team.

Anita L. Burkam wrote in Horn Book that D.J. "invites readers into her confidence and then rewards them with an engrossing tale of love, family, and football." A Publishers Weekly contributor also enjoyed Murdoch's fiction debut, calling Dairy Queen "a football book a girl can love." Murdock continues to explore the lives of D.J. and her peers in the sequel, The Off Season.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 1, 2006, Jennifer Hubert, review of Dairy Queen, p. 150.

Historian, spring, 2001, W.J. Rorabaugh, review of Domesticating Drink: Women, Men, and Alcohol in America, 1870-1940, p. 651.

Horn Book, May-June, 2006, Anita L. Burkam, review of Dairy Queen, p. 323.

Journal of Social History, summer, 2001, James Kirby Martin, review of Domesticating Drink, p. 1006.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2006, review of Dairy Queen, p. 412.

Kliatt, May, 2006, Myrna Marler, review of Dairy Queen, p. 12.

Publishers Weekly, May 15, 2006, review of Dairy Queen, p. 73.

School Library Journal, April, 2006, Amy Pickett, review of Dairy Queen, p. 145; June, 2006, Rick Margolis, "Punt, Pass, Moo: In Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen, a Farm Gal Tackles a Guys's Game" (interview).


Catherine Gilbert Murdock Home Page, (December 19, 2006).

Houghton Mifflin Web site, (December 19, 2006), "About the Author" (profile and interview)., (December 19, 2006), Kristi Olson, review of Dairy Queen, and interview with Murdock.