Faces of SAL: Daphne Ming Durham
September 14, 2022
Meet Daphne Ming Durham, a new board member with SAL!
Daphne is Executive Editor at MCD Books, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She came to FSG after more than fifteen years at Amazon.com. During her tenure there as Editorial Director in Books, her team developed and curated the Best Books programs and launched the blog Omnivoracious.
To welcome Daphne to the board, we spoke to her about her voracious love of reading, what’s on her desk (including Blackwing pencils, of course!), and what you might find her doing on an ideal Sunday . . .
When you’re not doing SAL Board things, you can be found . . .
Reading, reading, always reading.
Favorite book as a kid?
Surely you mean books! My first-ever favorite was Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (I still have my first copy). The illustrations are dazzling. So rich and beautiful and still as captivating now, and the story is about independence and angst and also the safety of home. I still love it.
Where are you from?
It’s kinda complicated? I was born on Long Island and moved around a lot as a kid: Phoenix, Portland, a suburb of Chicago. I moved to Seattle after grad school and have lived in Seattle going on twenty-five years. So I feel my NY roots, but consider myself a West Coaster, the PNW, especially.
What’s your ideal Sunday?
Reading a book I’m not currently working on, walking my dog, doing a puzzle with a glass of wine, seeing friends for dinner, watching some binge-worthy show with my husband.
What’s on your desk?
A jar full of a million pens (I’m kind of a pen junkie) and Blackwing pencils, a watercolor by my 10-year-old niece, a heart-shaped stress ball from my Amazon days, a handful of crystals, my MCD/FSG business cards, my personal and work computers, and various in-progress galleys. Hmm. I have a lot on my desk right now.
Favorite book right now?
I would say all the books I’m publishing, to be fair to my writers, but the book I turn to over and over again, the one I consistently recommend to people, the one that feels important and timely and undeniable, is Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. It’s a balm to soothe our weary, overtaxed, overstimulated souls.
What emoji best represents you?
Hahahahahahaha. I’ll never tell.
What was the best idea you’ve ever had?
To join the SAL Board, of course.
What’s your personal motto?
There’s no such thing as guilty pleasure reading.
Thank you so much, and welcome to the SAL Board, Daphne!