Brooklyn Author Explains What it Means to Worry — About Everything

Brooklyn resident Jen Epstein was born a worrier.

As a child, she worried her uvula would break off and she would swallow it and choke to death. Then she worried high-voltage wires would get her. Eventually she was diagnosed with learning disabilities and later, obsessive compulsive disorder.

Author Jen Epstein

Smart but challenged, Epstein navigated two years in Israel as a high school student and squabbling with technical support for her TV. She survives a two-night stay in the hospital, with all its dangers of contamination, and the nursing staff traipsing into her room at all hours of the night wanting her bodily fluids.

Whether pondering motherhood or refusing to drink ice water in Costa Rica, In “Don’t Get Too Excited: It’s Just About a Pair of Shoes and Other Laments From My Life,” Epstein exposes her inner demons with stories that are sometimes heartbreaking and always deeply personal, tapping into the minutiae of her life with distinctive style and themes of universal appeal.

Epstein is a writer, activist and worker bee who was raised by two mental health professionals and suffered as a child from anxiety and irrational fears. These fears evolved over time into obsessive compulsive disorder. Despite this, she received her BA in communication arts at Ramapo College of New Jersey and an MA in media studies at the New School. She has held positions in the television industry as a project manager and completed a documentary arts fellowship at UnionDocs in Brooklyn, both while working full-time for the nonfiction media company, Discovery.

“Don’t Get Too Excited” hit shelves on Oct. 2. The author will be signing book on Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. at Unnamable Books in Prospect Heights.

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