A literary career in awkwardness

April 21, 2011 Comments Off on A literary career in awkwardness


Daphne Merkin isn’t perfect (and thank G-D for that); she’s made a career of writing personal essays, potentially a perfect job. I consider myself a fiction writer, but I spend more time writing nonfiction. And the writing I’m most proud of is often personal. Merkins comes from big money and powerful New York stock, but there is more to it. Her writing can be provoking and revealing, often honest about her mistakes, blunders, and general human awkwardness. And yet she makes a writing career look easy. Merkin is currently teaching a seminar on writing the personal essay, which would have been a perfect birthday gift to myself except I’ve missed two (and after tonight, three) of the four classes. It’s New York, land of opportunities; many of them end up being missed opportunities, but I won’t despair. Instead, I’ll need to remain proactive in researching and following Merkin’s pursuits until I can land a seat in her class. In the meantime, I’ve got the beginnings of a novel, a play, and a personal essay that need my immediate attention.

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