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Daphne Merkin

Events & Workshops 

The Literature of Desire: 

A Virtual Class with Daphne Merkin at 92Y

with Carol Gilligan & Mark Greif

May 25, June 1, June 8, June 15, 2021

The vicissitudes of erotic life have always been difficult to catch hold of in writing, in part because the vocabulary of sexual experience is so curiously limited -- either patently euphemistic, cringingly flowery, or excessively Henry Milleresque. The corporeal solipsism of the activity -- the fact that it usually takes place in a duo yet is experienced alone, inside the self  -- may also have something to do with it. Whatever the reason, badly-written sex scenes, often sliding into outright porn, are easier to locate than well-written ones.

 

So why has it always been and continues to be  so difficult to write about sexual desire? With the advent of #MeToo, the whole arena has become even more freighted—what do we mean, exactly  by "consent", for instance, and when does a flirtatious remark from a man feel inappropriate or even threatening—but that only makes the effort to write about it that much more challenging.  And necessary.

In four powerful and candid classes at the 92Y, acclaimed literary critic, essayist and novelist Daphne Merkin will consider three  books that she deems masterpieces of erotic writing. In the first session (May 25th), Merkin will discuss The Lover by Marguerite Duras. In the second session (June 1), she will discuss Nothing Natural by Jenni Diski and in session three (June 8th), she will discuss Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux. In the fourth and final session (June 15th), Daphne will be joined by feminist and psychologist Carol Gilligan and author/philosopher Mark Greif for a discussion of the meaning of desire, sexual obsession and the power dynamics of domination and submission.
 

 

Four Tuesday night Zoom sessions beginning on May 25th, 2021 through June 15, 2021. To register: https://www.92y.org/class/daphne-merkin

 

About Daphne Merkin:

 

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.

Daphne Merkin has been interviewed

on the Following Podcasts

Upcoming Events FOR THE PAPERBACK LAUNCH OF

22 MINUTES OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

Literati Bookstore Virtual Event

Tuesday, july 8th
at 7pm (EST)

Literati Bookstore Zoom Event Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with author Nessa Rappaport, author of Evening, for the paperback launch of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love by Daphne Merkin. The event starts at at 7pm.  Here's the link to the Zoom event. 

Canio Books Virtual Event

Thursday, July 15th
at 7pm (EST)

Canio Books Zoom Event Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with Chip McGrath, New York Times journalist and former editor of  The New Yorker, for the paperback launch of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love.  The event starts at 7pm (EST) Here's the link to the Zoom event. 

Books & Books Virtual Event

Tuesday, July 27th
at 7pm (EST)

Books & Books Zoom Event Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with author Mark Greif, author of Against Everything and one of the co-founders of N+1, for the paperback launch of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love. The event starts at 7pm (EST). Here's the link to the Zoom event. 

92Y Virtual Class: The Literature of Desire With Daphne Merkin

Tuesdays, May 21-June 15, 2021

92Y  Zoom Class: In four powerful and candid virtual classes at the 92Y, acclaimed literary critic, essayist and novelist Daphne Merkin will consider three  books that she deems masterpieces of erotic writing. In the first session (May 25th), Merkin will discuss The Lover by Marguerite Duras. In the second session (June 1), she will discuss Nothing Natural by Jenni Diski and in session three (June 8th), she will discuss Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux. In the fourth and final session (June 15th), Daphne will be joined by feminist and psychologist Carol Gilligan and author/philosopher Mark Greif for a discussion of the meaning of desire, sexual obsession and the power dynamics of domination and submission. Registration info to come. 

McNally Jackson Books Virtual Launch

Thursday, July 16
at 7pm:

McNally Jackson Books Virtual Launch of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love. Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with Deborah Solomon. RSVP here! 

McNally Jackson Books Virtual Launch

Thursday, July 16
at 7pm:

McNally Jackson Books Virtual Launch of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love. Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with Deborah Solomon. RSVP here! 

Greenlight Bookstore virtual event

Tuesday, July 21 at 7:30 pm:

Greenlight Bookstore Virtual Event. Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with Meghan Daum. RSVP here! 

The Hampton Synagogue

Thursday, July 23 at 7:30pm:

The Hampton Synagogue, 24th Annual Author Discussion Series and nationwide telecast on JBC TV. A live, socially distanced reading and discussion with Daphne Merkin. 

154 Sunset Ave, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.

RSVP Required: 631-288-0534, ext 10. 

Facebook: The Hampton Synagogue

Oblong Books Virtual Event

Wednesday, July 29 at 7:00pm:

Oblong Books & Music Virtual Event:   Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with Carol Gilligan. 

RSVP Here!

RJ JULIA BOOKSELLERS Virtual Event

Sunday, August 30 at 5:00pm:

RJ Julia Booksellers Virtual Event:   Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with David Shields. 

RSVP Here!

Shakespeare & Co. Virtual Event

Tuesday, Sept 1 at 6:30pm:

Shakespeare & Co Virtual Event:    Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with Nessa Rapoport about her new novel "Evening".

RSVP Here!

Chevalier's Books Virtual Event

Tuesday, December 7th at 7pm:

Chevalier's Books Virtual Event:    Daphne Merkin will be in conversation with author Laura Kipnis at 7pm Pacific time. 

Past Events