Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Joseph Epstein  

Pen Name: Aristides - for articles, essays and book reviews to magazines and journals

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1937 in Chicago Illinois

-- Joseph Epstein on WorldCat --

E-Mail: --

Illinois Connection

Epstein is a Chicago native. He grew up in Rogers Park and graduated from the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Joseph Epstein is an essayist, short story writer, novelist and editor, best known as a former editor of the Phi Beta Kappa Society's ''The American Scholar'' magazine and for his recent essay collection, ''Snobbery: The American Version''. He was a lecturer at Northwestern University from 1974 to 2002 and now holds emeritus status. He is a Contributing Editor at ''The Weekly Standard'' and a long-time contributor of essays and short stories to The New Criterion and Commentary. His stories prominently feature the city of Chicago and the characters that have populated his 70 years as an observer of the city.


Harold Washington Literary Award in 1998 for his body of work. Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for Partial Payments

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

A line out for a walk :
ISBN: 0393308545. OCLC Number: 29864023

W.W. Norton,. .

Alexis de Tocqueville :
ISBN: 9780061768880. OCLC Number: 76805115

HarperCollins e-books,. .

Ambition, the secret passion /
ISBN: 0929587189. OCLC Number: 19846464

Elephant Paperbacks,. .

Divorce, the American experience
ISBN: 0224010891. OCLC Number: 1622680

Cape,. .

Divorced in America;
ISBN: 0525093753. OCLC Number: 762507

Dutton,. .

Fabulous small Jews
ISBN: 0395944023. OCLC Number: 50166738

Houghton Mifflin,. .

In these pages are artists, writers, a commodities trader, a concert pianist, all at various crossroads and turning points in their lives. These are classic stories with universal themes: the rights of talent, the attempt to shake one's identity, the desperation of strangled impulses, the complexities of family love. But as always with Epstein, the magic, the charm, and the humor are in his lavish details. The stories in Fabulous Small Jews are small worlds writ large, and Epstein's observant eye and witty voice bring them alive on the page.

Familiar territory :
ISBN: 0195026047. OCLC Number: 4775898

Oxford University Press,. .

Fred Astaire /
ISBN: 0300158440. OCLC Number: 216936061

Yale University Press,. .

"Joseph Epstein's Fred Astaire investigates the great dancer's magical talent, taking up the story of his life, his personality, his work habits, his modest pretensions, and above all his accomplishments. Written with the wit and grace the subject deserves, Fred Astaire provides a remarkable portrait of this extraordinary artist and how he came to embody for Americans a fantasy of easy elegance and, paradoxically, of democratic aristocracy." "Tracing Astaire's life from his birth in Omaha to his death in his late eighties in Hollywood, the book discusses his early days with his talented and outspoken sister Adele, his gifts as a singer (Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Jerome Kern all delighted in composing for Astaire), and his many movie dance partners, among them Cyd Charisse, Rita Hayworth, Eleanor Powell, and Betty Hutton."--Jacket.

Ji du
ISBN: 9787108027337. OCLC Number: 231787594

Sheng huo, du shu, xin zhi san lian shu dian,. .

Life sentences :
ISBN: 9780393333398. OCLC Number: 847876162

W.W. Norton,. .

Once more around the block :
ISBN: 039330633X. OCLC Number: 265349694

Norton,. .

In this book, Joseph Epstein's lively mind explores topics such as the pleasures of work, neighborhood, and keeping a journal; lecturing, language snobbery, and the comedy of gluttony; and the mixed delights of friendship, growing into the middle age, and issuing and receiving praise. -- Book cover.

Once more around the block :
ISBN: 0393024423. OCLC Number: 15082082

Norton,. .

Partial payments :
ISBN: 0393307166. OCLC Number: 17650761

Norton,. .

A collection of essays by Joseph Epstein on authors to whom he feels indebted, has revered and learned from.

Pertinent players :
ISBN: 0393035190. OCLC Number: 27012426

W.W. Norton,. .

Plausible Prejudices
ISBN: 0393303322. OCLC Number: 234287292

W W Norton & Co Inc. .

Plausible prejudices :
ISBN: 0393019187. OCLC Number: 10778899

W.W. Norton,. .

Snobbery :
ISBN: 9780618340736. OCLC Number: 48144419

Houghton Mifflin,. .

Joseph Epstein's witty new book surveys American snobbery after the fall of the old Wasp culture of prep schools, Ivy League colleges, cotillions, debutante balls, the Social Register, and the rest of it. With ample humor and insight, Epstein uncovers the new outlets upon which the old snobbery has fastened: food and wine, fashion, high-achieving children, schools, politics, health, being with-it, name-dropping, and much else, including the roles of Jews and homosexuals in the development of snobbery. Playing throughout the book is the question of whether snobbery is part of human nature.--From publisher description.

The Goldin boys :
ISBN: 0393030229. OCLC Number: 23144694

Norton,. .

The middle of my tether :
ISBN: 0393304078. OCLC Number: 24740808

Norton,. .

With my trousers rolled :
ISBN: 0393037576. OCLC Number: 31207278

Norton,. .

Over the last twenty years Joseph Epstein has published more than eighty familiar essays. Taken together, these essays constitute a continuing autobiography. Although the tone in this collection, his fifth - which owes its title to T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"--Is still highly amused, these new essays also strike a chord that's slightly elegiac. Offering reflections on his increased maturity both as a writer and as a man, Epstein admits to feeling more and more on the periphery of contemporary life - "Nicely Out of It," and not at all minding this. "Decline and Blumenthal" is his take on the endemic slippage of standards in all realms of life. In "Here to Buy Mink," he conveys his love and admiration for the remarkable woman who was his mother.