About Daniel Mendelsohn

Berlin Family Lecturer 2024: Daniel Mendelsohn, Award-Winning Author and Translator

Daniel Mendelsohn was born in New York in 1960 and educated at the University of Virginia, where he received his BA in Classics in 1982, and at Princeton, where he received his PhD in Classics in 1994. His 11 books include the international bestsellers An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic (2017) and The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (2006); a translation, with commentary, of the Modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (2009); and three collections of essays and criticism, most recently Ecstasy and Terror: From the Greeks to Game of Thrones (2018).

His most recent book, Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate (2020), was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a Literary Hub Favorite Book of 2020, and was named Best Foreign Book of the Year in France. During the past 30 years, Mendelsohn has contributed more than 300 essays, reviews, articles, and translations to numerous publications, most frequently The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, and has been a columnist for The New York Times Book Review, New York magazine, and BBC Culture. His writing for mainstream publications covers a wide range of subjects, from Classical civilization to contemporary literature, as well as film, theater, opera, and television.

Mendelsohn’s honors include the National Jewish Book Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Prose Style, the Society for Classical Studies Presidents’ Medal, Princeton University’s James Madison Medal, the Prix Médicis and Prix Méditerranée in France, and the Malaparte Prize in Italy, that country’s highest literary honor for foreign authors. In 2022, he was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France.

Daniel Mendelsohn, who is also Editor-at-Large of the New York Review of Books and Director of the Robert B. Silvers Foundation, a charitable trust promoting nonfiction writers, teaches literature at Bard College and lives in the Hudson Valley of New York. His translation of Homer’s Odyssey will be published by the University of Chicago Press in Spring 2025.