Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Gail Claudia Tanzer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction History

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1945, in Chicago, Illinois


-- Blog -- http://gailtannerhistoricalfiction

E-Mail: -- gailtanzer@yahoo.com


Illinois Connection

Tanzer was born and raised in Argo. She attended Augustana College and received a master's degree from the University of Chicago. She currently resides in a Chicago suburb. The historical fiction book on which she is working on now has the main character, Augusta Savage, giving presentations about her art at the Auditorium Theatre and to The Girls' Clubs on the South Side in the early 1930s.

Biographical and Professional Information

Gail Tanzer also wrote a novel called Never Forget that she put on Tumblr. It's about three students at a high school, one of whom just came as a refugee from Syria. It is a YA fiction book, and it's aim is to make high school students more empathic towards their peers who look and act different from them.

Home Is Where The Heart Is is a short book for grammar school children that she wrote especially for children on Prince Edward Island since the subject of the book drew her most famous works while a young person in Prince Edward Island. However, she never got that book published.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Duccio and the Maesta
ISBN: 1484157257

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2013

Journey to the hilltop Tuscan city of Siena and absorb yourself in the beauty, obsession, love and adversity experienced by Duccio di Buoninsegna all on account of his acclaimed altarpiece, the Maestà. In this historical fiction novel, two powerful men try to destroy Duccio's reputation and denigrate his Maestà. Duccio's young female apprentice who disguises herself as a male is the ideal ploy for attack by these enemies. But Duccio cannot let her go. How this drama plays out for Duccio in his final years leaves the reader rooting for this great artist and family man. Regardless of the outcome, his contributions to the world of art are what last.

Across the Alps: The Secret Life of Albrecht Dürer
ISBN: 1514317982

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2015

Standing on a ridge of the Bavarian Alps, artist Albrecht Dürer is torn between responsibility and infatuation. Below him lie Venice and the vibrant woman he just met. Ahead of him is Nuremberg, where he and his wife make their home.

Dürer’s wife lacks the allure and spirit of the Venetian woman, but his marriage to her secured him with the artistic workshop he so desperately needs. So, suppressing his desires, a despondent Dürer chooses duty over passion and turns his steps toward home.

So begins Across the Alps, Gail Tanzer’s intriguing fictionalization of the life of one of history’s great artists. With his wife’s support, Dürer manufactures exquisite religious woodcuts, making them into prints and selling them at prices even common people can afford. His success and reputation soar, but Dürer is troubled. He yearns for passion and beauty, two desires that his loyal but cold and homely wife cannot satisfy.

Driven by the need for resolution, Dürer returns to Venice, committed to locating a man forging his work in Venice but mainly to see what he has been missing. What happens in Venice forces Dürer into making a final decision between a great romance and fidelity—a choice that will change the course of his life forever.


Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes. The author has given a presentation about Duccio and the Maesta at a library and College of DuPage. Additionally, she gave a presentation about art history in general at a women's club. She was an adjunct art history teacher for about ten years. So, she can put together power point presentations about her books.