Husband Bob Ashe

Queer Places:
Wesleyan University, 45 Wyllys Ave, Middletown, CT 06459, Stati Uniti
Brown University (Ivy League), 13 Brown St, Providence, RI 02906
Leon’s, 870 Park Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

Mark Merlis (March 9, 1950 – August 15, 2017)[1] was an American writer and health policy analyst.[2][3]

Born in Framingham, Massachusetts and raised in Baltimore, Maryland,[2] Merlis attended Wesleyan University and Brown University.[2] He subsequently took a job with the Maryland Department of Health to support himself while writing.[2] In 1987, he took a job with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress as a social legislation specialist, and was involved in the creation of the Ryan White Care Act.[2]

Beginning in the 1990s, Merlis published a series of novels.[2] His first novel, American Studies, was published in 1994[4] and won the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Literature and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction in 1995,[3] and his second, An Arrow's Flight, was published in 1998[5] and won the 1999 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction.[3] He published two further novels during his lifetime, Man About Town in 2003[6] and JD in 2015.[7]

Merlis lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and worked both as an author and an independent health policy consultant.[3]

He died on August 15, 2017, at the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, from pneumonia associated with ALS.[1] He was 67 years old. He is survived by his husband of many years, Robert Ashe.[3]

Photo by Robert Giard, Rights Notice: Copyright Jonathan G. Silin (

Leon’s, 870 Park Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

My published books:

See my published books


  1. "Mark Merlis, novelist who explored gay life in 20th-century America, dies at 67". The Washington Post, August 23, 2017.
  2. Mark Merlis Archived 2012-10-15 at the Wayback Machine. at
  3. William Johnson, "In Remembrance: Mark Merlis". Lambda Literary Foundation, August 22, 2017. Accessed 23 August 23, 2017.
  4. Nishant Shahani, "The Politics of Queer Time: Retro-Sexual Returns to the Primal Scene of American Studies". Modern Fiction Studies, Vol. 54 Issue 4 (Winter 2008). p791-814.
  5. "Merlis, Mark. An Arrow's Flight". Library Journal, August 1998. pp. 132-133.
  6. "Mark Merlis' new novel hits closer to home". Philadelphia Gay News, July 4, 2003.
  7. "A Married Man in the ’60s". The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, May 1, 2015.