About the Girl

Merri Lisa Johnson believes in bold lines, strange truths, off rhymes, and the art of the glimpse.  She likes kittenish vignettes, ruthless sunsets, and long walks on the hard beach of relentless self-inquiry. 


Before she magically turned herself into a memoirist at the age of 37, Johnson flirted with personal narrative as a feminist cultural studies scholar in the calmer waters of academic writing.  She earned a PhD in English in 2000 from the State University of New York, Binghamton, where she learned all about putting her nose to the frozen grindstone.

Previous publications include three anthologies in feminist cultural studies—Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire, Flesh for Fantasy: Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance (with R. Danielle Egan and Katherine Frank), and Third Wave Feminism and Television: Jane Puts It in a Box—as well as personal essays published in Sex and Single Girls: Women Write on Sexuality, Herspace: Women, Writing, and Solitude, Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader, and Fucking Daphne: Mostly True Stories and Fictions, and academic articles placed in Discourse, Feminist Studies, the New Orleans Review, and Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature.

 Currently at work on a  new book about disorganized attachment style and the spiral of addictions, frustrations, and neurological misfires it has produced in the first year of her very own Borderline/Narcissist marriage, Johnson continues to search for new and better meanings in the opaque moments of intimacy management.  A late-blooming lesbian-after-­marriage, Johnson currently resides in South Carolina where she performs a curious balancing act as author, professor, writing consultant, and Women’s & Gender Studies program administrator.  

She lives with her ftm transqueer spouse, Austin, and their two loyal shih tzus, Millie and Lola, in a 1920s-era Craftsman Bungalow fondly known by friends and family as the Haney-Johnson Halfway House for the Bright but Broken-Hearted.