Saturday, February 05, 2022

Jason Epstein (1928-2022)

Publishing pioneer Jason Epstein has died. At 93, he managed to outlive his obituarist, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, who died in 2018.

Epstein worked with a long list of authors and founded or co-founded Anchor Books, The New York Review of Books, and the Library of America. I confess to a fetishism for the early Anchor paperbacks, including those published after Epstein left the company in 1958. I have a dozen or so in the house and often re-read some of them. Many have wonderfully dotty covers by Edward Gorey. Today Anchor Books and many of its erstwhile competitors and imitators in the paperback market, including Vintage, Penguin, Signet, Ballantine, Bantam, and Dell, are all subsumed under the same corporate umbrella.

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