Daphne Miriam Merkin (born 30 May 1954 in New York City) is an American literary critic, essayist and novelist. Merkin is a graduate of Barnard College. She also attended Columbia University's graduate program in English literature.
She began her career as a book critic for Commentary magazine, The New Republic, and The New Leader, where she wrote a book column and later, a movie column. In 1986, she became an editor with the publishing house of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. In 1997, after Tina Brown became editor of The New Yorker, Merkin became a film critic for the magazine. She also wrote extensively on books and became known for her frank and lyrical forays into autobiography; her personal essays tackled subjects ranging from her battle with depression, to her predilection for spanking, to the unacknowledged complexities of growing up rich on Park Avenue. In 2005, she joined The New York Times Magazine as a contributing writer. She is the author of a novel, Enchantment (1984) as well as a collection of essays, Dreaming of Hitler (1997).
Merkin teaches writing at the 92nd Street Y. She married and divorced Michael Brod, and lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with her daughter, Zoe. She also is a contributing editor to Tablet Magazine.
- Joel Shatzky, Michael Taub (1997). Contemporary Jewish-American novelists: a bio-critical sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 216–222. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Daphne Merkin, (February 26, 1996). "Unlikely Obsession". The New Yorker. p. 98. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Sneak Peeks: Dreaming of Hitler," Salon, June 10, 1997
- "Behind a Byline, Family Ties," New York Times, April 11, 2009
- "A Voice of One's Own ," 92y.org
- Tablet Magazine
- Private Drama by Merkin at Tablet Magazine
- Merkin, Daphne. "The Suburbanization of Mike Tyson," New York Times Magazine, March 15, 2010
- "Getting Candid With Daphne Merkin," West Side Spirit, May 20, 2010
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