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Leslie Epstein

Professor of English

BA, DFA, Yale University
Diploma of Anthropology, Oxford University
MA, University of California, Los Angeles


Room 214

Leslie Epstein was born in Los Angeles to a family of film makers. His father and uncle together wrote dozens of films in the late thirties and forties and on, including The Man who Came to DinnerArsenic and Old LaceStrawberry BlondeYankee Doodle Dandy, and Casablanca. Not surprisingly, films have made up a good part of the subject matter of his fiction.

He left California for an undergraduate degree at Yale and a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford. He has published twelve works of fiction, among them, P.D. KimerakovThe Steinway Quintet Plus FourRegina, Goldkorn TalesPinto and SonsPandaemoniumIce Fire Water: A Leib Goldkorn CocktailSan Remo Drive, The Eighth Wonder of the World, Liebestod: Opera Buffa with Leib Goldkorn, and Hill of Beans. His best known novel, King of the Jews, has become a classic of Holocaust Fiction and has been published in eleven foreign languages. His thirteenth book The Goldkorn Inventions: A Trilorgy will be published in early 2022. In February of 2007, his stage adaptation of King of the Jews was produced by the Huntington Theatre Company, and again at the Olney Theatre in Maryland.

His articles and stories have appeared in such places as EsquireThe Atlantic MonthlyHarper’sPlayboy, the Yale ReviewTriQuarterlyTikkunPartisan ReviewThe NationThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. In addition to the Rhodes Scholarship, he has received many fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright and a Guggenheim fellowship, an award for Distinction in Literature from the American Academy and Institue of Arts and Letters, a residency at the Rockefeller Institute at Bellagio, and grants from the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

He was the director of the Creative Writing Program at Boston University for thirty-six years, and continues to teach fiction there.

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