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Taking from essays on depression she has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine, Daphne Merkin’s new memoir This Close to Happy is the rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression. In trying to sort out the root causes of her affliction, Merkin reflects on her childhood, her mother, her life as a writer, her marriage, and the birth of her child as she discusses in poignant detail various therapists, treatments, and hospitalizations for depression along the way. In an intimate conversation on her lifelong battle with depression and her search for release, Merkin is joined by her friend Jill Soloway, the Emmy-winning creator of Transparent.

Daphne Merkin

Daphne Merkin, a former staff writer for The New Yorker, is a regular contributor to Elle. She has written a novel and two collections of essays; her writing appears in The New York Times, Departures, Travel + Leisure, W, Vogue, and other publications. Her essay collection The Fame Lunches was one of The New York Times Book Review’s Hundred Notable Books of the Year.


Jill Soloway

Jill Soloway is the creator of Amazon Studios’ Transparent, a dark, deep, silly family series about boundaries, love and secrets. Jill won the US Dramatic Directing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for her first feature, Afternoon Delight, which was released by Cinedigm/Film Arcade. She recently founded WIFEY.TV, a channel/brand for women. Jill is a three-time Emmy nominee for her work writing and producing Six Feet Under.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main image: Pool reflection with shadow palms Credit: Gilbert Parker


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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