Helen Epstein

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Helen Epstein
Helen Epstein
Helen Epstein
Born (1947-11-27) November 27, 1947 (age 73)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
OccupationWriter of memoir, biography, and journalism
EducationHunter College High School, Hebrew University, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Notable worksChildren of the Holocaust
SpousePatrick Mehr (m 1983)
ChildrenDaniel Mehr, Samuel Mehr

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


Early life and education[edit]

Helen Epstein is the daughter of Kurt Epstein and Franci Rabinek Solar, both survivors of Nazi concentration camps.[1] She was born in Prague in November 27, 1947, grew up in New York City, and graduated from Hunter College High School, Hebrew University,[2] and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.[3]


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.[3] Her articles and reviews have appeared in many major American publications and include profiles of art historian Meyer Schapiro[4] and musicians Vladimir Horowitz and Leonard Bernstein.[5]

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,[6] and the tribute anthology Archivist on a Bicycle [7]. Her most recent book, published January 8, 2018, is The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma. It was published in English and Czech in 2018.[8]

She was the first tenured woman journalism professor in New York University (1981) and taught about 1000 students over 12 years.[9] She guest lectures extensively at universities, libraries and religious institutions in North America and abroad.[10]


  • Another Fine Mess: America, Uganda, and the War on Terror. Columbia Global Reports. ISBN 0997722924, 978-0997722925
  • 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. ^ Alan Levy (July 27, 1994). "Helen Epstein: Growing Up Czech in New York". The Prague Post. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  2. ^ "Helen Epstein". American Friends of the Hebrew University. afhu.org.
  3. ^ a b Epstein, Helen (1968). "Tears in Prague" (PDF).
  4. ^ Landi, Ann (2007). "A Modernist Manifesto". ARTNews.
  5. ^ Ross, Michael (1987). "Music Talks". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Cantrell, Cindy (February 16, 2016). "From Budapest to Brookline, a psychoanalyst looks back". The Boston Globe.
  7. ^ "Czech Republic: Tribute book to Jiří Fiedler published". Jewish Heritage Europe. jewish-heritage-europe.eu. July 24, 2015.
  8. ^ "The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma by Helen Epstein". Plunkett Lake Press. plunkettlakepress.com.
  9. ^ Kornwitz, Jason (2015). "Helen Epstein on "Intergenerational Effects of Genocide: A Survivor's Daughter Reflects"". Northeastern University.
  10. ^ "Helen Epstein" (video). UO Today, #229. University of Oregon. media.uoregon.edu. February 5, 2007.

External links[edit]