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Daniel Mendelsohn’s new novel is a moving love letter to Homer—and his own father

An Odyssey follows Mendelsohn’s father Jay, who in his eighties decides to complete the classical education he abandoned as a teenager

By Sameer Rahim   November 2017

It is a truism that literary criticism doesn’t sell without a healthy dose of memoir to entice the reader. Hence the proliferation of formulaic books with titles like, “How Proust Solved my Depression,” or “Shakespeare Helped me get Over my Breakdown.” But in the hands of Daniel Mendelsohn, a talented critic and sensitive memoirist, the genre gets a shot in the arm.

An Odyssey follows Mendelsohn’s father Jay, who in his eighties decides to complete the classical education he abandoned as a teenager by attending the class his son taught on the…

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