An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and an Epic

An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and an Epic

by Daniel Mendelsohn


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345806215
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/31/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 55,077
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

DANIEL MENDELSOHN is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. His books include the international best seller The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and many other honors; a memoir, The Elusive Embrace, a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; a translation, with commentary, of the complete poems of C. P. Cavafy; and two collections of essays, How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken and Waiting for the Barbarians. He teaches literature at Bard College.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

April 16, 1960

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


B.A., Classics, University of Virginia, 1982; M.A., Classics, Princeton University, 1989; Ph.D., 1994

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An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and an Epic 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing story of classics professor teachong a seminar on the odyssey whoch his father attends- excellent memoir and literary event--loved the book!
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn is a very highly recommended memoir of a father, son, and The Odyssey. Jay Mendelsohn, a retired research scientist, decided to take the undergraduate seminar on Homer's Odyssey that his son Daniel teaches at Bard College. It was Jay's hope that this would enable him to understand the classic epic, as well as why his son has devoted his life's work to the classics. What follows is not only insights into Odysseus and the epic poem, but also the relationship between father and son. The two study together in Daniel's class where Jay challenges his son's interpretations. He questions why Odysseus is even considered a hero, after all, Odysseus is a liar, cheats on his wife, often cries, gets his men killed, and often needs the gods to intervene and rescue him. Teaching his seminar with his father questioning him actually encourages Daniel to justify his interpretations of the text as he teaches it. Additionally, Jay and Daniel take an educational Mediterranean cruise together that attempts to re-create the journey of Odysseus. This is an exquisitely written memoir. It is an insightful, extraordinary, emotional examination of The Odyssey and the relationship between father and son. Daniels uses the epic to highlight lessons he is learning in real life with his father. Their studies and trip uncover secrets that allow Daniel to understand Jay and their relationship. So while this is a memoir and a study of The Odyssey, it also represents other father-son relationships and the journeys life has taken them through. Daniel blends literary analysis with personal family history and creates a powerful work that is an enduring tribute to both Jay Mendelsohn and The Odyssey. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.