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

by Mendelsohn, Daniel (Author)

ISBN: 9780345806215

From award-winning memoirist and critic, and bestselling author of The Lost: a deeply moving tale of a father and son's transformative journey in reading-and reliving-Homer's epic masterpiece.

A Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Library Journal,The Christian Science Monitor, and Newsday

A Kirkus Best Memoir of 2017

Shortlisted for the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize

One of Lithub's 10 Best Reviewed Nonfiction Titles of 2017

Eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enroll in the undergraduate Odyssey seminar his son Daniel teaches at Bard College, and father and son find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician's unforgiving eyes, the return to the classroom is his one last chance to learn the great literature he'd neglected in his youth-and a final opportunity to more fully understand his son, a writer and classicist. But through the sometimes uncomfortable months that the two men explore Homer's great work together-first in the classroom, where Jay persistently challenges his son's interpretations, and then during a surprise-filled Mediterranean journey retracing Odysseus's famous voyages-it becomes clear that Daniel has much to learn, too. Their conversations and experiences help them to uncover long-buried secrets that allow the son to understand his difficult father at last. As this intricately woven memoir builds to its wrenching climax, Mendelsohn's narrative comes to echo the Odyssey itself, with its timeless themes of deception and recognition, marriage and children, the pleasures of travel and the meaning of home.

Rich with literary and emotional insight, An Odyssey is a renowned author-scholar's most triumphant entwining yet of personal narrative and literary exploration.

Format: Paperback, 320 pages

Publisher: Vintage, July 2018

Product Dimensions: 7.9 L × 5.2 W × 0.7 H

* Subject to availability