“Other people is the world’s most fascinating subject,” according to the author Joseph Epstein.
In his new book, “Gossip,” Epstein argues that it’s human nature to tell stories about each other. He even defends gossip, for its power to uncover the truth or arm us with information we may need to know.
Of course, Epstein acknowledges that gossip can be hurtful and, in the age of the Internet, spreads malicious rumors faster than a sneeze sprays a cold. That doesn’t stop him from gossiping in the book, though. He tells stories about famous people like the British playwright Harold Pinter (who apparently sent boring poems to friends who were expected to praise them) and about famously private ones — like his own mother. All her life, Epstein’s mother hid the fact that her father committed suicide, a story the rest of us still wouldn’t know if not for her son’s new book.
“What do you call a man who gossips about his own mother?” Epstein wonders.
Readers, do you have an answer to that question?
(image via Realsimple.com)