Daniel Mendelsohn is an internationally bestselling author of seven books and an award-winning critic and essayist. The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million detailed his search for information about six relatives who perished in the Holocaust; it won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Jewish Book Award. He received his PhD in Classics at Princeton University.
He’ll talk about his newest book, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic, a deeply moving tale of a father and son's transformative journey in reading—and reliving—Homer's epic masterpiece. When 81-year-old Jay Mendelsohn, a retired scientist, enrolls in the Odyssey seminar his son Daniel teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. 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 each has much to learn. Daniel uncovers long-buried secrets that allow him to understand his difficult father at last. As this intricately woven memoir builds to its 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.
6:30 p.m.: Join Kathleen Alva, the McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live, for a talk in the DMA's ancient art galleries focused on themes in Homer's The Odyssey.