An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and an Epic

9780007545124: An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and an Epic

From the best-selling author of ‘The Lost’, a moving memoir about a father, a son and the lessons of a lifetime.

An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic twines an ongoing reading of the most popular and beloved works of literature, Homer’s Odyssey – with its irresistible tales of travel and adventure, and its eternal themes of transformed identities and climactic recognitions—around a personal journey of modern family life.

This intimate narrative is a father-son story: an account of a year-long reading of the poem that Mendelsohn undertakes with his ailing father, first in the classroom, then on their travels around the Mediterranean in the footsteps of Odysseus. How the ancient tale effects its own unexpected recognitions and transformations in the relationship between father and son, and eventually, in the enduring questions that they faced once he fell ill and began to die, becomes a moving adventure of both the real and the metaphorical.

Exploring the old poem, about long journeys and long marriages and long estrangements and about wanting to go home, An Odyssey illuminates some remarkable and unexpected similarities between the past of our forefathers and the present of our own fathers.

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Praise for 'The Lost': 'Daniel Mendelsohn has written a powerfully moving work of a 'lost' family past, reminiscent of the richly expansive prose works of Proust and the elusive texts of W.G. Sebald. A remarkable achievement' Joyce Carol Oates 'Epic and personal, meditative and suspenseful, tragic and at times hilarious, "The Lost" is a wonderful book' Jonathan Safran Foer 'A stirring detective work in its own right, "The Lost" is set in the context of stories of the enigmatic interventions of God in human affairs, and deepened by reflections on the inescapable, incomprehensible part that chance plays in history' J.M.Coetzee '(Mendelsohn) is a brilliant storyteller, influenced by the Greek masters he so admires, eschewing the chronological, looping forward and back, teasing the reader with hints of what the gods may have in store' Sunday Times

About the Author:

Daniel Mendelsohn was born in Long Island and educated at the University of Virginia and at Princeton. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books as well as the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review, and is contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. His previous books include the memoir ‘The Elusive Embrace’, a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, and the international best seller ‘The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million’, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Prix Médicis, and many other honours. He teaches at Bard College.

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