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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About the Author
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 www.Socratesinthecity.com. 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
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