Monday, January 25, 2016

Robin Epstein

Robin Epstein is a writer, runner, professor and astronaut* (*in her own mind). Beginning her career as a comic and television writer, Epstein was lucky enough to become head writer and on-air sidekick for a teen girl game show called Clued In, where she was known as "Guru Robin," an embarrassing nickname she's unable to shake. Her young adult novel, God Is In the Pancakes, was an official selection of the 2012 New York State Reading Association (NYSRA) Charlotte Award Master List. She's written for the New York Times, Marie Claire, Glamour, as well as other publications. A contributor to This American Life on NPR, she also writes video games and books for TV shows on the Disney Channel. Epstein attended Princeton University, got her MFA from Columbia University, and teaches at NYU.

Epstein's latest novel is HEAR.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m currently reading Mary Gaitskill’s Veronica. Gaitskill’s new novel, The Mare, was published in November and I’d been embarrassed that I hadn’t read anything of hers before. I’m halfway through Veronica at this point and I’m stunned by the Gaitskill’s virtuosity. She seamlessly weaves story threads from various periods of the main character’s life paragraph by paragraph, and we voyeuristically follow our heroine through her youth and beauty, age and illness, restlessness and despair.

Because I like to alternate between fiction and nonfiction I read Elmira Bayrasli’s From the Other Side of the World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places before that. Bayrasli’s smart analysis shows that life is being made better by entrepreneurs in places like Turkey, Pakistan and Nigeria. The author argues that true innovation is taking place outside Silicon Valley at this point because it’s these far flung entrepreneurs who are focused on making a difference in people’s lives. Whereas that was once true for their California counterparts, today Silicon Valley entrepreneurs seem most concerned with making life more comfortable for the wealthy, e.g. Uber, HotelTonight, Giftly. I found it a truly fascinating and important read.
Visit Robin Epstein's website.

The Page 69 Test: HEAR.

My Book, The Movie: HEAR.

--Marshal Zeringue