Merritt, Donigan 1945-
MERRITT, Donigan 1945-
Born 1945; married Holly Murten; children: Andrea Rujatski, Kymberly Calvo. Education: Simpson College, B.A.; Claremont Graduate School, M.A.; Iowa Writer's Workshop, M.F.A.
Home—Berlin, Germany. Agent—Kathryn Green Literary Agency, LLC, 250 W. 57th St., Ste. 2302, New York, NY 10107.
(As Don Merritt) One Easy Piece, Coward, McCann (New York, NY), 1981.
(As Don Merritt) My Sister's Keeper, Coward, Mc-Cann (New York, NY), 1983.
Possessed by Shadows, Other Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Also author of three other novels.
In Possessed by Shadows, author Donigan Merritt tells the story Molly and her fellow mountain climber and husband of ten years, Tom. When Molly learns that she has an inoperable brain tumor following an examination after a climbing accident, she convinces Tom that they should make one more climb in the Tatra Mountains of France. The title of the novel is the same as the diary Molly keeps as they go on their trip. Merritt presents the couple's story in alternating points of view as Holly begins to deteriorate into nonsensical ramblings in her diary. The two recount past exploits and their relationship as Tom watches helplessly while his wife dies. Along the way they encounter an old climbing partner, who once saved Tom's life. "Ingenuously, Merritt weaves in a goodly lot about climbing, ranges and paraphernalia… while fashioning a poignant portrait of a loving marriage nipped too soon," reported a Kirkus Reviews contributor. In a review for Booklist, David Pitt described the author as "one of those too-little-known writers who deserves a wider audience." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the novel a "compelling and tragic love story" and commented that the alternating viewpoints provide the story with a "great depth of feeling."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2005, David Pitt, review of Possessed by Shadows, p. 56.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2005, review of Possessed by Shadows, p. 443.
Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2005, Katharine Mieszkowski, review of Possessed by Shadows.
Publishers Weekly, April 25, 2005, review of Possessed by Shadows, p. 37.