Fish Out of Water: A Search for the Meaning of Life

Fish Out of Water: A Search for the Meaning of Life

by Eric Metaxas

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What Happens When One of America’s Most Admired Biographers Writes His Own Biography?

For Eric Metaxas, the answer is Fish Out of Water: A Search for the Meaning of Life—a poetic and sometimes hilarious memoir of his early years, in which the Queens-born son of Greek and German immigrants struggles to make sense of a world in which he never quite seems to fit.

Renowned for his biographies of William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Martin Luther, Metaxas is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, the witty host of the acclaimed Socrates in the City conversation series, and a nationally syndicated radio personality. But here he reveals a personal story few have heard, taking us from his mostly happy childhood—and riotous triumphs at Yale—to the nightmare of drifting toward a dark abyss of meaninglessness from which he barely escapes.

Along the way he introduces us to an unforgettable troupe of picaresque characters who join this quintessentially first-generation American boy in what is both bildungsroman and odyssey—and which underscores just how funny, serious, happy, sad, and ultimately meaningful life can be.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684511747
Publisher: Salem Books
Publication date: 02/02/2021
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 96,141
File size: 41 MB
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About the Author

ERIC METAXAS is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including the Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, which was named "Book of the Year" by the ECPA and sold over one million copies in nineteen languages. Called a "biography of uncommon power," it appeared on numerous 2010 "Best of the Year" lists and was ranked #21 on the listing of Most Highlighted Books of all time.

He also hosts The Eric Metaxas Show, a nationally syndicated daily radio program airing in 120 cities on the Salem Radio Network, and Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life, broadcast on the NRB network and Along with his colleague John Stonestreet, Metaxas is the voice of BreakPoint, a radio commentary that is broadcast on 1,400 radio outlets with an audience of eight million.
ABC News has called Metaxas a "photogenic, witty ambassador for faith in public life," and The Indianapolis Star described him as "a Protestant version of William F. Buckley." Metaxas was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, an event attended by then-President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, members of Congress, and other U.S. and world leaders. Previous keynote speakers have included Mother Theresa, Bono, and Tony Blair. That speech, along with Eric's essay on the experience, were put into a book, No Pressure, Mr. President: The Power of True Belief in a Time of Crisis.

In 2011, Metaxas became the seventeenth recipient of the Canterbury Medal awarded by the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. He has testified before Congress about the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and abroad, and spoke at CPAC 2013 on the issue of religious freedom. In September 2013, Eric and his wife Susanne were jointly awarded the Human Life Review's "Great Defender of Life Award." Metaxas has honorary doctorates from Sewanee College, Hillsdale College, and Liberty University.

His book Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life (November 2014) hit #12 on the New York Times Bestseller list and is being translated into German, Polish, Greek, Portuguese, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Estonian, Slovak, Korean, Swedish, Finnish, and Croatian.

His December 25, 2014 op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, titled "Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God," remains unofficially the most popular and shared piece in the paper’s history, garnering over 450,000 Facebook likes and 8,000 comments.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 0 Omphalos 1

Chapter 1 I Am Born, Etc. 11

Chapter 2 School 25

Chapter 3 Our Trip to Germany: Summer 1971 37

Chapter 4 Transfiguration: 1971-1972 47

Chapter 5 Moving to America: 1972 61

Chapter 6 Assumption Church & Trip to Greece 73

Chapter 7 My American Idyll 85

Chapter 8 Broadview 97

Chapter 9 The Bicentennial 109

Chapter 10 "Because He's Your Father": Fall 1976 119

Chapter 11 Falling into the Future: Fall 1977 127

Chapter 12 "You Have Gell-Friend?": Spring 1978 137

Chapter 13 Senior Year: 1979 145

Chapter 14 Graduation: 1980 151

Chapter 15 Trinity College: Fall 1980 157

Chapter 16 "Summer of Destiny" 169

Chapter 17 National Socialism in Danbury 175

Chapter 18 The Meaning of Meaning: Fall 1982 191

Chapter 19 The Last Bladderball: Junior Year 1982 205

Chapter 20 The Game 213

Chapter 21 Bohemian Threnody: Summer 1983 221

Chapter 22 "I ang Leo…" 235

Chapter 23 Senior Year: 1983-1984 239

Chapter 24 Graduation from Yale: 1984 249

Chapter 25 Grand Tour, Einzer Schtück 257

Chapter 26 The Grand Tour, Zweiter Schtück 269

Chapter 27 Alone! 285

Chapter 28 Home, Eric 299

Chapter 29 Onion Skin and Nothingness 313

Chapter 30 Boston: Spring 1985 325

Chapter 31 The Opera House 333

Chapter 32 Backward to Greece: Summer 1987 343

Chapter 33 Lost at Home 349

Chapter 34 The Golden Fish 367

Chapter 35 As I Lay Dying 375

Chapter 36 I Am Born Again, Etc. 377

Epilogue 381

Appendix 387

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