Helen Epstein

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Helen Epstein
Helen Epstein 2017.jpg
Helen Epstein
Born (1947-11-27)November 27, 1947
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Occupation Writer of memoir, biography, and journalism
Nationality American
Education Hunter College High School, Hebrew University, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Spouse Patrick Mehr (m 1983)
Children Sons: Daniel Mehr, Samuel Mehr

Helen Epstein is an American writer of memoir, journalism and biography who lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, United States.


Helen Epstein is the author, co-author, translator or editor of ten books of narrative non-fiction including the memoirs Children of the Holocaust and Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History; the biography of theater producer Joseph Papp; Heda Kovaly’s Under a Cruel Star, Paul Ornstein’s Looking Back: Memoir of a Psychoanalyst,[1] and the tribute anthology Archivist on a Bicycle [2]. Her most recent book (forthcoming 2017) is The Long Half-Life of Love: A Memoir.

Helen Epstein was born in Prague November 27, 1947, grew up in New York City, and graduated from Hunter College High School, Hebrew University,[3] and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She became a journalist at the age of 20, while caught in the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia. Her account was published in the Jerusalem Post and she has been a journalist ever since.[4] Her articles and reviews have appeared in many major American publications and include profiles of art historian Meyer Schapiro[5] and musicians Vladimir Horowitz and Leonard Bernstein.[6]

She was the first tenured woman journalism professor in New York University (1981) and taught about 1000 students over 12 years.[7] She is a co-founder of Plunkett Lake Press, an electronic publisher of non-fiction classics.[8] She guest lectures extensively at universities, libraries and religious institutions in North America and abroad.[9]


  • Children of the Holocaust. Penguin Books. ISBN 0140112847
  • Music Talks. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0070195447
  • Where She Came from: A Daughter's Search for Her Mother's History. Little Brown & Co. ISBN 0316246085
  • The Companies She Keeps. Plunkett Lake Press. ISBN 0961469609
  • Joe Papp. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0316246042
  • Écrire la vie. La Cause des Livres. ISBN 2917336072
  • Un athlète juif dans la tourmente. La Cause des Livres. ISBN 2917336196
  • Under a Cruel Star. Holmes & Meier Publishers. ISBN 0841913773
  • Acting in Terezín. Plunkett Lake Press.
  • Looking Back: Memoir of a Psychoanalyst. Plunkett Lake Press. ISBN 0961469633
  • Archivist on a Bicycle. Plunkett Lake Press.


  1. ^ Cantrell, Cindy (February 16, 2016). "From Budapest to Brookline, a psychoanalyst looks back". The Boston Globe. 
  2. ^ "Czech Republic: Tribute book to Jiří Fiedler published". Jewish Heritage Europe. 
  3. ^ "American Friends of the Hebrew University". 
  4. ^ Epstein, Helen (1968). "Tears in Prague" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017. 
  5. ^ Landi, Ann (2007). "A Modernist Manifesto". ARTNews. Archived from the original on 2017. 
  6. ^ Ross, Michael (1987). "Music Talks". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Kornwitz, Jason (2015). "Helen Epstein on "Intergenerational Effects of Genocide: A Survivor’s Daughter Reflects"". Northeastern University. 
  8. ^ Kody, Hillary (June 10, 2013). "Talking with Patrick Mehr, Plunkett Lake Press rights & digitization manager". The Pubcast. 
  9. ^ "University of Oregon". 2007. 

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