Steven Gilbar

Steven Gilbar is an American editor and writer. His books about books and literature are The Book Book: A Compendium of Lists, Quizzes, and Trivia About Books (1981), Good Books: A Book Lover’s Companion (with Introduction by Clifton Fadiman) (1984), The Open Door: When Writers First Learned to Read (1989), The Reader’s Quotation Book: A Literary Companion (with Introduction by Doris Grumbach) (1991), Reading in Bed: Personal Essays on the Glories of Reading (1995), Published & Perished: Memoria, Eulogies & Remembrances of American Writers (with Dean Stewart) (2002) and republished as a trade paperback as Not Forgotten: American Writers Remember the Lives of Literary Mentors, Friends, and Rivals (2006), and Bibliotopia: Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts & Curiosities (200 ).

He also seen published Americans in Paris: Great Short Stories of the City of Light (with Foreword by Diane Johnson) (2002) and Chicken a la King & the Buffalo Wing: Food Names and the People and Places that Inspired Them (2008)

He has edited three anthologies of stories of Santa Barbara, California: Tales of Santa Barbara: From Native Storytellers to Sue Grafton (with Dean Stewart) (1994), Red Tiles, Blue Skies: More Tales of Santa Barbara (1996), and Santa Barbara Stories (19 ), as well as writing (with Dean Stewart) a literary history, Literary Santa Barbara: Between Great Mountains and a Great Sea (1998).

His other California books are Natural State: A Literary Anthology of California Nature Writing (Foreword by David Brower) (1998); two short-story anthologies: California Shorts (1999) and L.A. Shorts (2000); two books with photographs by Peter Treadwell: L. A. Noir: A Post-Chandler Portrait of Los Angeles in the Words of the Fictional Private Eyes, Cops, Shamuses and Detectives Who’ve Prowled Its Mean Streets (1999) and Santa Barbara: Literary Landscapes (2005).


Steven Gilbar was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1941, obtained a B.A. from the University of Michigan (1963) and a J.D. from Wayne State University School of Law (1966). After practicing law in the Detroit area for several years, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970 and then, in 1978, to Santa Barbara. He is married to Inge Gatz, the social worker and community mental health activist, and has a son, Sky, a photojournalist.

He has worked as a managing editor of a law book publishing company and practiced law for many years, all the while editing and writing “shamelessly non-commercial” books. Since retiring he has devoted most of his energy to mixed-media art.

He is the founder of Speaking of Stories, an award-winning Santa Barbara theater company that produces short-story readings on stage.

External Links

  • Steven Gilbar’s art blog (
  • Biographical sketch in Contemporary Authors (vol 106) and Contemporry Authors New Revision Series (vol 139); and

Speaking of Stories (

  • Bibliography at LibraryThing (
  • Review of Published and Perished (

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