Daphne Merkin may have achortle-inducing last name, but her often painfully personal articles for publications like The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine tended to be more mortifying than mirthful. Subjects like her battle with depression, her spanking fetish, and her years of therapy have made up a good chunk of Merkin’s oeuvre, a fact belied by her latest book, The Fame LunchesLunches deals in less sensational Merkin material: 45 examples of her cultural writing stretching back to the 1980s. Billed byKirkus Reviews as “Essays that go down like candy but nourish like health food,” the book has also been praised by Woody Allen for it’s “strikingly original take on the human condition.” Merkin will be in conversation with newyorker.com’s literary editor, Sasha Weiss.