The Trustees and staff of Library of America are deeply saddened by the death of Jason Epstein, one of our founders. Jason was the key link between literary critic Edmund Wilson, who championed the idea of an “American Pléiade” in the 1960s, and the team of scholars and foundation executives who made it a reality in the late 1970s, which he helped to assemble. The only publishing executive in the group, he brought an intuitive feel for the book business and excellent editorial instincts to the enterprise. Realizing early on that bookstore sales alone would not support the organization, he proposed offering the series by subscription, an insight that helped sustain LOA financially in its first decades. He introduced talented colleagues to the production team, like jacket designer Robert Scudellari, who would contribute to LOA’s distinctive design. Jason’s knowledge of American writing was broad and deep and his tastes wide-ranging. His vision, energy, and expertise helped to make the Library of America series possible and to chart its early course.
President and Publisher