The Untrivial Pursuit

By Joseph Epstein

Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547844596, 242pp.

Publication Date: November 2012


A juicy, incisive exploration of gossip in all its forms--from celebrity rumors to literary romans a clef, from personal sniping to political slander--by one our "great essayists" (David Brooks)

About the Author
Joseph Epstein is the author of, among other books, Snobbery: The American Version, Fabulous Small Jews (a collection of stories), Envy, and Friendship: An Expose. He was the editor of The American Scholar between 1974 and 1997, and for many years taught in the English Department at Northwestern University. His essays and stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Commentary, the Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines.

Praise For Gossip

"While Epstein’s ruminations on how we became a nation of gawkers ring painfully true, it is his willingness to analyze delectable tidbits regarding authors, intellectuals and other luminaries that enlivens the narrative... Amusing and serious in equal measures, Epstein grants readers the pleasurable company of a master observer of humanity’s foibles."
-Kirkus, starred

"Delectable firsthad anecdotes and portraits...add to the pleasures of this serious appraisal. Readers who share Epstein's concern about gossip's power 'to invade privacy, to wreck lives' and his reluctance to wholly condemn it 'because I enjoy it too much' will find him disquieting and delightful."
-Publishers Weekly