Wednesday, November 11th: Fiction. Merritt Tierce reads from her novel Love Me Back. 7 pm.
"One of those exquisitely rare novels that feel desperate and urgent and absolutely necessary." (New York Times Book Review)
Marie, a young single mother, lands a job at an upscale Dallas steakhouse. She is preternaturally attuned to the appetites of her patrons, but quickly learns to hide her private struggle behind an easy smile and a crisp white apron. In a world of long hours and late nights, where everything runs on a currency of favors, cash and cachet, Marie gives in to brutally self-destructive impulses. She loses herself in a tangle of bodies and the kind of coke that 'napalms your emotional synapses.' But obliteration—not pleasure—is her goal. Pulsing with fierce, almost feral energy, Love Me Back is an unapologetic portrait of a woman cutting a precarious path through early adulthood.
Merritt Tierce was born and raised in Texas. She worked in various secretarial and retail positions until 2009, when she moved to Iowa City to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop as the Meta Rosenberg Fellow.
After graduating in 2011 with her MFA from Iowa, she received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and she is a 2013 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Author.
Merritt served as the Executive Director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, a Dallas-based nonprofit abortion fund, from 2011 until 2014. She volunteered and worked for the TEA Fund from its founding in 2004, and co-wrote the abortion play One in 3 with Gretchen Dyer and Victoria Loe Hicks. One in 3 played to sold-out houses for most of its three-week run and stimulated a local conversation about the reality of abortion in women’s lives.
Merritt’s first published story, Suck It, was selected by ZZ Packer to be anthologized in the 2008 edition of New Stories from the South, and her first book, Love Me Back, was published by Doubleday in 2014, to wide acclaim. Merritt lives near Dallas with her husband and children.