Epstein, Rachel S. 1941-

views updated

EPSTEIN, Rachel S. 1941-

PERSONAL: Born September 10, 1941, in Washington, DC; daughter of Herbert (an economist and writer) and Mildred (Fishman) Stein; married Melvin Epstein, December 20, 1964; children: Jonathan, Emily Epstein Landau. Ethnicity: "Jewish." Education: Wellesley College, B.A., 1963; Pratt Institute, M.L.S., 1967; New York University, M.B.A., 1981. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Music, cooking, walking, bicycling, traveling, reading, studying conversational French.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 387 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: J. C. Penney and Co., Inc., New York, NY, training writer, 1981-84; International Council of Shopping Centers, New York, NY, writer, 1984-94; New York Observer, New York, NY, shopping columnist, 1989-94; freelance writer, 1994—. United Jewish Appeal (board chair, Brooklyn Women's Campaign, 1996-98; Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, leader of tours for young people.

MEMBER: Beta Gamma Sigma.


(With Nina Liebman) BizSpeak, Franklin Watts (Danbury, CT), 1986.

Alternative Investments, Chelsea House (Broomall, PA), 1988.

Careers in the Investment World, Chelsea House (Broomall, PA), 1988.

Investment Banking, Chelsea House (Broomall, PA, 1988.

Investments and the Law, Chelsea House (Broomall, PA, 1988.

Careers in Health Care, introduction by C. Everett Koop, Chelsea House (Broomall, PA, 1989.

Eating Habits and Disorders, introduction by C. Everett Koop, Chelsea House (Broomall, PA, 1990.

Anne Frank, Franklin Watts (Danbury, CT), 1997.

W. K. Kellogg: Generous Genius, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 2000.

Estee Lauder: Beauty Business Success, Franklin Watts (Danbury, CT), 2000.

(Coauthor) A Shop of One's Own, Sterling Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.

BizSpeak has been translated into Vietnamese.

SIDELIGHTS: The writings of Rachel S. Epstein span a wide variety of subjects that reflect her educational background in business as well as her cultural heritage. Epstein's business books for young adults provide their audiences with useful information about vocations in business. Careers in the Investment World does not merely give a description of the career, but describes a typical workday and the advantages and disadvantages of the job. A Booklist reviewer praised Epstein's "objective and uncomplicated" presentation of facts that "otherwise might become jargon-laden and dry." Investment Banking utilizes case studies of successful companies such as Apple Computers and introduces readers to concepts such as takeovers, mergers, and acquisitions.

Epstein shifted gears from business to medicine with Careers in Health Care. This book explores the many opportunities available in the medical field, looking at careers as widely varied as surgical specialists, dentists, school nurses, allied health professionals, and biomedical engineers. Particularly useful to students is the information on the type and length of training needed for each profession. Also included are sections on major health issues such as AIDS, high medical costs, and health maintenance organizations. A reviewer for Appraisal: Science Books for Young People said Epstein covers medical careers "thoroughly yet succinctly," describing the book as "an excellent introductory work for children considering a career in the health care field." Former surgeon general C. Everett Koop provided the introduction for this and Epstein's next book, Eating Habits and Disorders. Along with tracing the history of eating disorders, Epstein examines the symptoms of anorexia nervosa and bulimia, outlining information on the help and treatment of victims.

Epstein then turned to an event in her own cultural history with Anne Frank, her look at the famous Holocaust diarist. The biography focuses on the Frank family's years in hiding and includes reminiscences of the people who helped the Franks survive as long as they did. Other details include black-and-white photographs of the family and quotations from Anne's historic diary. The book "should motivate students to read the diary and other books about World War II," according to School Library Journal reviewer Susan Pine. In a Booklist review, Ellen Mandel called the story an "honest, yet age-appropriate account."

Epstein once commented: "I feel most proud of the book about Anne Frank. … I have spent many years doing volunteer work to raise money for poor young women in Israel and also for other Jewish people in need around the world. It was wonderful to put my professional and volunteer worlds together in a book which, if it helps just one person have some understanding of the Holocaust and, perhaps, helps another person become more understanding of people who are different from him or her, will have achieved something. I have also greatly enjoyed speaking to school children about Anne Frank. I have been surprised by how much they know about her already and how sensitive they are to the issue of prejudice."

She added: "Writing for me is a little like playing with a big puzzle where there is no one right answer and there is an infinite number of pieces; for every thought there are many words, and many combinations of words that can be used, and for every group of ideas there is more than one order in which they can be expressed. The fun is in finding the combinations which tell the story most clearly and pleasantly. By pleasantly, I mean the combinations that sound the best. As I write I am saying everything to myself, so the way the words sound is extremely important to me."



Appraisal: Science Books for Young People, winter, 1990, review of Careers in Health Care, pp. 24-25.

Booklist, March 1, 1988, review of Careers in the Investment World, pp. 1128, 1332; June 1, 1989, pp. 1716-1717; December 1, 1997, Ellen Mandel, review of Anne Frank, pp. 617-618.

School Library Journal, August, 1989, p. 156; August, 1990, p. 168; November, 1997, Susan Pine, review of Anne Frank, p. 126.