Author, Critic, and Translator
Daniel Mendelsohn is an internationally bestselling author, critic, essayist and translator. Born in New York City, he received degrees in Classics from the University of Virginia and Princeton. After completing his Ph. D. he moved to New York City, where he began freelance writing full time; since 1991, his reviews, translations, and essays on literary and cultural subjects have appeared frequently in numerous publications, most frequently in the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, and New York Times. He has also been a columnist for BBC Culture, New York, Harpers, and the New York Times Book Review.
Mendelsohn’s books include the memoir The Elusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity (1999), a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; two collections of essays, How Beautiful It Is and How Easily it Can Be Broken (2008), a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture (2012), shortlisted for the PEN Essay Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; a translation, with commentary, of the complete works of C. P. Cavafy (2009), shortlisted for the Criticos Prize (U.K.); and a scholarly study of Greek tragedy. His internationally-bestselling family memoir, The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (2006), about the author’s search for information about relatives killed in the Holocaust, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Jewish Book Award in the U.S and the Prix Médicis in France, among other honors, and was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize (U.K.).
In September 2017, Daniel Mendelsohn published An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic; named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Newsday, The Christian Science Monitor, Library Journal, and Kirkus, it was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize (U.K.) and won the Prix Transfuge in France. Since 2006 he has been the Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College in New York State. He lives in the Hudson Valley.