Daphne Merkin’s Book Launch Was Anything But Depressing

by Michael Gross Photographed by Michael Gross
Thursday, February 9, 2017

New York’s literati came out in force when author Toni Bentley and investor Scott Asen hosted a book launch last night in their Manhattan townhouse for Daphne Merkin and her acclaimed new memoir This Close to Happy:  A Reckoning With Depression, which is excerpted in the February issue of Avenue.  “How do you make a book about depression not too depressing?” Merkin asked in her remarks. Then she joked, “I should have called it Melancholy Baby.”

The crowd included Robert Caro, Edmund Morris, Susan Cheever, Erika Jong, Molly Fast-Jong, Molly Haskell, Anne Roiphe, Cathy Graham, Carol Gilligan, Honor Moore, Jonathan Schwartz, Deborah Solomon, Charles McGrath, Richard David Story, James Atlas, Lynn Goldberg, Sandi Mendelson, Luke Barr, Stephen Drucker and publisher Farrar Straus & Giroux’s Jonathan Galassi and Ileen Smith. Merkin’s siblings Sol and Ezra Merkin, and daughter Zoe Brod were there, too.

Merkin seemed to be pleased by both the turnout and the rave reviews her book has already attracted.  “I’m getting slowly closer to happy,” she concluded.


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