In a Cardboard Belt! by Joseph Epstein
Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage

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Joseph Epstein has been called America’s “liveliest, most erudite and engaging essayist” (James Atlas), and In a Cardboard Belt! provides ample proof for the claim. Taking his title from the wounded cry of the once great Max Bialystock in The Producers -- “Look at me now! Look at me now! I’m wearing a cardboard belt!” -- Epstein gives us his largest and most comprehensive collection to date.

Writing as a memoirist, polemicist, literary critic, and amused observer of contemporary culture, he uses to deft and devastating effect his signature gifts: wide-ranging erudition, sparkling humor, and a penetrating intelligence. In personally revealing essays about his father and about his years as a teacher, in deeply considered examinations of writers from Paul Valery to Truman Capote, and in incisive take-downs of such cultural pooh-bahs as Harold Bloom and George Steiner, this remarkable collection presents us with the best work of our country’s most singular talent, engaged with the richness and variety of life, witty in his response to the world, and always entertaining.

About Joseph Epstein

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JOSEPH EPSTEIN is the author of the best-selling Snobbery and of Friendship, among other books, and was formerly editor of the American Scholar. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.
Published September 23, 2008 by Mariner Books. 432 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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But that’s fine by us, as they say in his hometown (Chicago), when he shares his thoughts about favorites like Auden, Valéry, Beerbohm, Karl Shapiro and, of course, philosopher Max Bialystock, the famous producer who supplies the book’s title.

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