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 the magazines Commentary, 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 forays into autobiography; her personal essays dealt with 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 two collections of essays, Dreaming of Hitler (1997) and The Fame Lunches (2014). and a memoir, This Close to Happy: A Reckoning With Depression (2017).
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. ISBN 9780313294624. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Merkin, Daphne (February 26, 1996). "Unlikely Obsession". The New Yorker. p. 98. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Sneak Peeks: Dreaming of Hitler," Salon, June 10, 1997
- "Kirkus Review, July 2014 Issue" Kirkus, June 12, 2014
- Solomon, Andrew (January 30, 2017). "Diving Into Hell: A Powerful Memoir of Depression". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
- "Behind a Byline, Family Ties," New York Times, April 11, 2009
- "A Voice of One's Own ," 92y.org
- Tablet Magazine
- Official website
- "Getting Candid With Daphne Merkin," West Side Spirit, May 20, 2010
- Works by and about Merkin in The New York Times
- Works in The New Yorker
- Works in Tablet
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