Wind Sprints Shorter Essays On Poverty

Review

Epstein (emeritus lecturer of English, Northwestern Univ.), a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and the Weekly Standard, is acclaimed for his witty, perceptive, and occasionally contentious essays, which he began during his editorship (1974-97) of American Scholar. These writings have been published in multiple collections (e.g., A Literary Education and Other Essays and Essays in Biography), and in this latest, most of the 143 pieces are harvested from the Weekly Standard (1996-2015). They are essentially apercus-insights or observations on matters personal or familiar. Humorous and conversational, leavened with literary and philosophical quotations, the narratives deplore phone menus, remembering PINs, and infelicitous sentence structure ("It Rings-You Jump," "Numbers on the Brain," "Mr. Epstein Regrets"). The author bemoans the excessive use of buzzwords ("Take a Flying Focus," "Don't Ask, Multitask," "The Issue Issue") and extols his fas hionable attire-hat, sneakers, and bow-tie ("Cool Chapeau, Man," "Foot Fop"). VERDICT In "Literary Tippling," Epstein recounts his need to "tipple"-to have reading material at every occasion, including the bathroom. These entertaining and engaging essays are pithy (most are no longer than two pages), and as the book title itself suggests, amenable to such "tippling."--Lonnie Weatherby "Library Journal, March 1, 2016 "

About the Author

A long-time resident of Chicago, Joseph Epstein has taught English and writing at Northwestern for many years. He is the author of 26 books, many of them collections of essays, and has also written for numerous magazines including the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Weekly Standard, and Commentary. Author's previous books: A Literary Education and Other Essays, 978-1-60419-078-6; Essays in Biography, 978-1-60419-068-7; Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit, 978-0618721948; The Love Song of A. Jerome Minkoff: And Other Stories, 978-0618721955; Fabulous Small Jews, 978-0618446582; Snobbery: The American Version, 978-0395944172

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Wind Sprints: Shorter Essays

Joseph Epstein. Axios, $24 (500p) ISBN 978-1-60419-100-4
The 143 essays in Epstein's entertaining new collection (after A Literary Education) are compulsively readable. Written between 1996 and 2015, primarily for the "Casual" section of the Weekly Standard, most run to fewer than 1000 words, develop their themes in under a dozen succinct paragraphs, and frequently conclude with epigrammatic witticisms. Epstein shows himself capable of writing engagingly at that brief length on just about any topic that strikes his fancy: parents instructing children about the facts of life, aging memory, coining neologisms, movie palaces of yore, the traditional hot dog as an endangered species, adult education classes, shoe shines, the Seven Deadly Sins and the Enlivening Vices. He even expresses his opinion about having no opinion, in an essay entitled (not surprisingly) "No Opinion." A significant number of essays target language and writing, and these yield some of his most trenchant insights: "Style in prose is intelligence perfectly formulated," he remarks in "Mr. Epstein Regrets." The essays are peppered with personal memories and quotes from literature and punctuated with bursts of humor—Epstein likens a bandleader's bellow to that "of a man who has just been pushed off a cliff"—and they abound with pleasures that belie their brevity. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Open Ebook - 500 pages - 978-1-60419-101-1

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