What is a memorable literary voice? How do you go beyond writing "good enough" prose to creating an original voice that readers will want to stop and listen to? In this class, acclaimed essayist and novelist Daphne Merkin, will explore what Philip Roth described as "something that begins at around the back of the knees and reaches well above the head.”How do you achieve this? Focusing on your works-in-progress and selections by published authors, Merkin, known for her virtuosic prose and “literary ledgermain”, will help you to develop and refine an original and powerful literary voice that will serve to enhance your writing and seduce readers.
Dates for these five Wednesday night Zoom sessions will run from mid-November to end of December. It is open to 8 writers and the tuition is $900. Writers will be accepted on a first-come basis, based on a writing sample or samples (not to exceed 20 pages please). This class is not intended for beginning or Sunday writers.
Daphne Merkin is the author of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love (FSG, 2020), which the New York Times called "an arresting novel that explores the alchemy of contradictions that exist in all great works of literature.” In 1986, her first novel, Enchantment, won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for best novel on a Jewish theme and has just been reissued by Picador (2020). She has also published two collections of essays, The Fame Lunches (2014) and Dreaming of Hitler (1997), as well as a memoir about her struggle with depression, This Close to Happy (2017). As a former staff writer for The New Yorker, Merkin's cultural criticism frequently appears in The New York Times Book Review and The New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Bookforum, the New York Review of Books, The New Republic, Departures, Elle, Travel + Leisure, Tablet, and many other publications. Merkin has taught writing at the 92nd Street Y, Marymount Manhattan College, Hunter College, and she currently teaches in Columbia University’s MFA program. She lives in New York City.