Husband Bob Ashe

Queer Places:
Wesleyan University, 45 Wyllys Ave, Middletown, CT 06459, Stati Uniti
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, Stati Uniti

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]


  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 glbtq.com.
  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.