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Washington University in St. Louis, The MFA Program Fall Reading Series 2017

Reading Series events are free to attend and open to all. Copies of the author's books will be available for purchase courtesy of Subterranean Books. 


Visiting Hurst Professor Daphne Merkin is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and a regular contributor to ELLE. Her writing frequently appears in The New York Times, Bookforum, Departures, Travel + Leisure, W, Vogue, Tablet Magazine, and other publications. Her previous books include Enchantment, which won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for best novel on a Jewish theme, and two collections of essays, Dreaming of Hitler and The Fame Lunches, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her most recent book is This Close to Happy.


Event date: 
Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 8:00pm
Event address: 
Washington University
Hurst Lounge (Rm 201) / Duncker Hall
St. Louis, MO 63130
This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374140366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 7th, 2017

Dreaming of Hitler Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156006118
Availability: Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Harcourt Trade Publishers - January 29th, 1999

The Fame Lunches: On Wounded Icons, Money, Sex, the Brontes, and the Importance of Handbags Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250074768
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - September 8th, 2015

These recent paintings, usually composed simultaneously with other works, borrow and play off of each other. Sometimes they bend and yield with each other celebrating the beauty of their complimenting colors.  Sometimes they contrast and seem to want to repel the other works.  Other times they seem to just babble and laugh with one another.  They are painted with the notions of collage and drawing which influence the application of color, line, and form within the compositions. They depict figures and landscapes, joyfulness and fear, organs and voids.

The scratch of a hastily written note, like the graphite scrawls within the paintings, are blossoms of color dripping off the paintings like blurred landscapes of motion and speed.  Recalling instances and moments of our lives, they reveal the importance of the seemingly insignificant, mortal, anxious beings we are at times as we look for some event, idea, or pleasure to shut out agony and anxiety through sensuality, love, the erotic, etc.

If the work can be spoken of as sensual, it allows that there is something that can be glorious, profound, and (apparently, and falsely) indefatigable, however briefly. Distraction can be a positive force, allowing the insignificant to remain existent.  As the colors compound, erase, contrast or cover each other, the paintings can reflect various confrontations, and various harmonies, relating to our time spent with ourselves, others and the world.

Work will be on display September 15th – November 30th.



Event date: 
Friday, September 15, 2017 - 11:00am to Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 9:00pm
Event address: 
Subterranean Books
6275 Delmar
St. Louis, MO 63130
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