Epstein, Barbara 1929-2006

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EPSTEIN, Barbara 1929-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born August 30, 1929, in Boston, MA; died of lung cancer, June 18, 2006, in New York, NY. Editor and author. Epstein was best known as one of the founders of the New York Review of Books. A 1949 graduate of Radcliffe College, she moved into the book world as a staff member at the publishing house Doubleday. Here she prospered and gained wide attention when she convinced Doubleday to publish Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank in 1952. She edited the United States version that was eventually retitled The Diary of Anne Frank. After leaving Doubleday, Epstein worked for the publishing houses Dutton and McGraw-Hill, then for the literary magazine thePartisan Review. Her legacy was established in 1962 when she, Robert Silvers, Robert Lowell, and then-husband Jason Epstein decided to found the New York Review of Books. The decision was made during a newspaper strike that stopped publication of the New York Times Book Review. The Epsteins and their friends saw a need to continue making book reviews available to the public, so they established their periodical. Although the strike ended after the New York Review of Books had only seen two issues released, the publication was so successful that the editors decided to continue with their work. Characterized by its high editorial standards, the New York Review of Books published reviews and articles by such writers as Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Didion, John Kenneth Galbraith, Edmund Wilson, Lillian Hellman, and Gore Vidal. Epstein developed a reputation as a tough editor who was able to make a good article outstanding with just a few surgical edits. In addition to her newspaper work, she was the coeditor of three books: The First Anthology: Thirty Years of the New York Review of Books (1993), India: A Mosaic (2000), and Striking Terror: America's New War (2002).



Chicago Tribune, June 18, 2006, section 4, p. 5.

Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2006, p. B16.

New York Times, June 17, 2006, p. B10.

Washington Post, June 19, 2006, p. B5.