Joseph Epstein was editor of the American Scholar. A long time resident of Chicago, he has taught English and writing at Northwestern for many years. He is the author of 23 books, many of them collections of essays, and has also written for numerous magazines including The New Yorker, the Atlantic, and Commentary.
Epstein follows up Essays in Biography (2012) with another collection of provocative and beguiling thought pieces. The range of his curiosity is exhilarating. Publishers Weekly, March 31, 2014 [In A Literary Education] prolific essayist, biographer, and novelist Epstein ... delivers ... lots of erudition ... and ... fun. Kirkus, April 1, 2014 [Epstein] writes sentences you want to remember... His essays are troves of literary reference and allusion, maps between centuries, countries, genres... [They] have personality and style, yes, but they also have something to say, and that's the pivotal distinction between Epstein and his bevy of imitators... What's more, his wit is unkillable. -- William Giraldi The New Criterion, May 1, 2014 ... Maybe it's time for a 'Joseph Epstein Reader' that would assemble the best work from his previous books for old and new fans alike. In the meantime, A Literary Education inspires hope that Mr. Epstein's good run [referring to the author's 24 books] isn't over just yet. -- Danny Heitman The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2014 Epstein's ... A Literary Education and Other Essays ... is his 24th book. This volume confirms that Epstein is not only the greatest living American literary critic, but also the country's foremost general essayist. He is, almost singlehandedly, holding aloft the flame for what used to be the honorable calling of 'the man of letters.' -- John Podhoretz COMMENTARY, June 2014 Joseph Epstein turns out the best essays-of the literary or familiar kind-of any writer on active duty today... Those who've reviewed Epstein's work over the years ... praise his humor, his erudition, his vast learning, and his elegance... Epstein's writing, like most French desserts, is very rich stuff. -- Larry Thornberry The American Spectator, June 2014