The Odyssey by HomerThe Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey

byHomerTranslated byEmily Wilson

Hardcover | November 7, 2017

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The first great adventure story in the Western canon, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty, and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home.

In this fresh, authoritative version—the first English translation of The Odyssey by a woman—this stirring tale of shipwrecks, monsters, and magic comes alive in an entirely new way. Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, this engrossing translation matches the number of lines in the Greek original, thus striding at Homer’s sprightly pace and singing with a voice that echoes Homer’s music.

Wilson’s Odyssey captures the beauty and enchantment of this ancient poem as well as the suspense and drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, from the cunning goddess Athena, whose interventions guide and protect the hero, to the awkward teenage son, Telemachus, who struggles to achieve adulthood and find his father; from the cautious, clever, and miserable Penelope, who somehow keeps clamoring suitors at bay during her husband’s long absence, to the “complicated” hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this translation as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.

A fascinating introduction provides an informative overview of the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the major themes of the poem, the controversies about its origins, and the unparalleled scope of its impact and influence. Maps drawn especially for this volume, a pronunciation glossary, and extensive notes and summaries of each book make this an Odyssey that will be treasured by a new generation of scholars, students, and general readers alike.

Emily Wilson is a professor of classical studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Philadelphia.
Title:The OdysseyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:656 pages, 9.5 × 6.4 × 1.4 inPublished:November 7, 2017Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393089053

ISBN - 13:9780393089059

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Soul-touching Translation I cannot fully express how it felt to read this translation. Having studied the myths for years, having learned about them in-depth in university, I didn't realize what was missing until I read this one. Wilson's approach is liberating, it's refreshing, and it's an important correction to a classic studied by so many.
Date published: 2018-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful translation This translation is beautiful and rich. It flows so smoothly, making it a very easy read. If you are a fan of Lawrence's writing you will enjoy this version of Homer's Odyssey immensely.
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly enriching On our path through life we have milestones that help to shape us and guide us on our journey, reading this book is one of them.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Classic! Probably a good idea to read the Iliad before this one, but nevertheless, writers and scriptwriters of today apply the kinds of archetype in this epic in their works constantly so it is nice to see where they get it from. A fascinating read!
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wicked captivating, exhilarating, rosy-fingered #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tale older than time I read Homer’s Odyssey for a course I took in university on Greek and Roman mythology. I only had a vague idea of the story before then so I was really glad to finally sit down and read and analyze it. Odysseus is an interesting character and I enjoyed following his years-long journey home after the Trojan War.
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous! A classic bound in a stunning cloth cover! exceptional quality!
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Great classic, definitely worth the read. Awesome story and captivating for all ages.
Date published: 2017-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Great classic, definitely worth the read. Awesome story and captivating for all ages.
Date published: 2017-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Great classic, definitely worth the read. Awesome story and captivating for all ages.
Date published: 2017-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book Great classic, definitely worth the read. Awesome story and captivating for all ages.
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful illustration of a classic. A great addition for any Classicist with children!
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful book While this book is a classic that should be read, it's also beautiful and looks fantastic on my shelf!
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful In my life, I can say I have been sincerily affected by no more than four books. This is one of them. The Odyssey is a majestic masterpiece. There is no better tale of perserverance, fate interrupted and challenge. Odysseus' voyage home is inspirational and to be quite honest, the challenges he faces and how he faces them have never been so relevant in a world of chaos and short sightedness. I would recommend this for any individual- the messages are hugely relevant.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I received this as a gift and put off reading it for a while but I am so glad that I got around to it now! A truly amazing story.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect in every way... I haven't read the book - maybe one day - as I bought books from this series purely for their beauty. And they didn't disappoint. A must for any collector.
Date published: 2011-09-15

Editorial Reviews

A masterpiece of translation—fluent, elegant, vigorous. — Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, University of CambridgeIrresistibly readable…turns Homeric epic into a poetic feast. — Froma Zeitlin, Princeton UniversityA staggeringly superior translation—true, poetic, lively and readable, and always closely engaged with the original Greek—that brings to life the fascinating variety of voices in Homer’s great epic. — Richard F. Thomas, Harvard UniversityThis will surely be the Odyssey of choice for a generation. — Lorna Hardwick, The Open University, LondonEmily Wilson has produced a clear, vigorous, sensitive Odyssey that conveys both the grand scale and the individual pathos of this foundational story. This is the most accessible, and yet accurate, translation of Homer’s masterwork that I have ever read. — Susan Wise Bauer, author of The History of the Ancient World'Each generation must translate for itself,' T. S. Eliot declared. Emily Wilson has convincingly answered this call: hers is a vital Odyssey for the twenty-first century that brings into rhythmic English the power, dignity, variety, and immediacy of this great poem. — Laura Slatkin, New York UniversityHaving a female scholar and translator look with fresh eyes upon one of the foundational myths of Western civilization is nothing short of revolutionary. Emily Wilson’s riveting translation of The Odyssey ripples with excitement and new meaning. This important and timely addition to our understanding of Homer will be enjoyed for generations to come. — Aline Ohanesian, author of Orhan’s InheritanceEmily Wilson's Odyssey sings with the spare, enchanted lucidity of a minstrel fallen through time. Ever readable but endlessly surprising, this translation redefines the terms of modern engagement with Homer’s poetry. — Tim Whitmarsh, author of Battling the GodsA remarkable new translation. Poised and unadulterated—a feast for the senses. — Daisy Dunn, author of Catullus’ BedspreadThis is it—a translation of The Odyssey that is 'eminently rapid…plain and direct,' as Matthew Arnold famously described Homer himself. It is also contemporary and exciting. A gift. — Barbara Graziosi, author of The Gods of OlympusAs the first English translation of this ancient tale by a woman, this lively, fast-paced retelling of Homer’s epic is long overdue. Much as Homer did in his time, Wilson whisks the audience into a realm both familiar and fantastical. The world of Odysseus and his adventures take shape before the reader’s eyes, luminescent once more, in this engaging new translation. — Justine McConnell, King’s College, London, author of Black OdysseysTo translate Homer’s Odyssey from ancient Greek to contemporary English presents the translator with a virtually insurmountable challenge, because our lives, our minds, and our languages are so different from those of the Greeks of eighteen centuries ago. Somehow, Emily Wilson has pulled it off. To read her translation is to receive a tremendous and unexpected gift. — Thomas Cahill, author of Sailing the Wine-Dark SeaWilson’s translation is pared down but accurate and readable; it maintains the intrinsic interest of the story and the rapid forward momentum of the poetic line. The metrical regularity is a rare and welcome feature in a modern translation. The diction and tone are contemporary but not slangy or prosaic. All in all, a compelling Odyssey for our time. — Lillian Doherty, University of Maryland