About the Author

This is Ephraim’s site, but I’d better introduce myself: Susan Lee Kerr. I’ve just completed years of researching and writing the life of this astonishing, I dare say incorrigible, man — more about him elsewhere. About me: I guess I inherited Ephraim’s moveable roots, as did many of his descendants… do visit the Ephraim’s People page — you might be one yourself.

Meanwhile, about me:  I was conceived in Australia, born in West Virginia, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Gettysburg College, a Mademoiselle magazine Guest Editor and a New Yorker until half my lifetime ago I struck new roots in England. My father was a journalist in the USA (Ephraim was too), and I just had to be a writer when I grew up. After being a copywriter in New York City and then London, I grew into freelance magazine feature writing. And then I grew on more and wrote two self-help books (parenting; health-and-beauty) published by Hodder.

I branched out, too, and shared the joy of writing by teaching it. And then shared that joy in my book Creative Writing: the Quick Matrix, selected exercises and ideas for teachers. Click here for it, and the original paperback too. Besides novels, and coaching writers to get them through their own books, I also write haiku. That’s the not-always-17-syllables, usually 3 lines of the Japanese poetic form that captures a fleeting, meaningful moment and makes you, the reader, feel you are there. I’m active on the committee of the British Haiku Society.

Susan Lee Kerr

Susan Lee Kerr

11 thoughts on “About the Author

  1. Pingback: Book Giveaway Day | The Extraordinary Dr Epstein

    • To the best of my knowledge, no, no one reverted to Judaism. That is not in his direct line from his 8 children down to great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, yea unto great-great-greats. His daughter Ruth became a Roman Catholic. So far as I know his sisters, Catherine and Pauline, remained in the Jewish faith always, and probably his other siblings and their descendants. Thank you, A.M., for your interest.


  2. Hi! I am Zelda’s great-great granddaughter. This site is such a cool resource to learn about a branch of my family that wasn’t talked about a whole lot when I was growing up. Thank you!


    • Molly! How grand to hear from you: Zelda’s line. I’ve met two of Frieda’s line. And one of Julia’s. Some day I’d love to put photos on the ‘Ephraim’s People’ page. I hope you’ll read the book — he was an amazing if sometimes naughty man. I will contact you via your email to say a bit more. Meanwhile I am working on a totally different book — about a fairytale-telling therapist who lives in west London and helps untangle mysteries. Total fiction I assure you! Susan


  3. Hi, Susan! This is Anatoly, we’ve discussed certain issues about Ephraim and Epsteins several years back. Just a reminder, that my great-great-grandfather Israel Sack (his mother Rachel Epstein was Ephraim’s aunt) was Ephraim’s cousin. I have some new info on Catherine Sack (Epstein). I am planning to be in London and Scotland next May and we may meet each other if don’t mind.


    • Hello Anatoly! I do remember indeed, early in the days of writing The Extraordinary Dr Epstein. Do contact me via this site when closer to your time in London and we will try to arrange meeting up. Interesting!


  4. I am a genealogical researcher with an interest in Ephraim’s father; could you please contact me if you have any familiarity with the source material?


    • Hi PY, Familiarity with source material for Ephraim Epstein’s father? No, the only source about his parents that I used is Ephraim’s own account of his life, ‘Why Do I Live So Long’ published in The American Journal of Clinical Medicine in 1908 and 1913. Plus I researched online and read around a lot to get general context for Jewish life and Brest-Litovsk in Ephraim’s youth. Two books about or by his sister Pauline Wengeroff — Memoirs of a Grandmother and Rememberings — give some clues too; especially thorough is the one tr by Shulamit Magnus. These are all listed in the Sources at back of my book. You might also try to contact Anatoly who has corresponded via this page and has some genealogical info, but I’m not sure it is about Ephraim’s father — it arose after publication, and is not directly about the story I wrote. Good luck!


      • Thank you!
        His father’s autobiographical notes (introduction to Minhat Yehuda) are very vague – he doesn’t even mention his second wife by name – while his sister’s autobiography is rich in details on parts of the family and completely omits others.


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