Most of Epstein's nonfiction books are on my shelves, and I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite among them. If my hand were forced, I would probably select "Partial Payments" as the best example of Epstein's unerring good taste in literary matters. I write "unerring" with, I think, a touch of conscious egoism, as Epstein's likes and dislikes among the great names of literary modernism more or less mirror my own. Readers of this collection will do well to savor the pieces on Evelyn Waugh, E.M. Forster and E.B. White (this latter a sacred cow whom Epstein conducts with no small enthusiasm off to the sausage factory).
Joseph Epstein, prolific author and essayist, has a handle on contemporary and earlier literature that few can match. If one wants to know what is being written of interest, and the background of who has written it, Epstein is a superb source of information.