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The Odyssey Hardcover – November 7, 2017

4.7 out of 5 stars 3,427 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"A masterpiece of translation―fluent, elegant, vigorous."
Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

"Irresistibly readable…turns Homeric epic into a poetic feast."
Froma Zeitlin, Princeton University

"A 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 University

"This will surely be the
Odyssey of choice for a generation."
Lorna Hardwick, The Open University, London

"Emily 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 University

"Having 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 Inheritance

"Emily 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 Gods

"A remarkable new translation. Poised and unadulterated―a feast for the senses."
Daisy Dunn, author of Catullus’ Bedspread

"This 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 Olympus

"As 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 Odysseys

"To 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 Sea

"Wilson’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

About the Author

Emily Wilson is Professor of classical studies and Graduate Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Wilson attended Oxford University (Balliol College, B.A., and Corpus Christi College, M.Phil.) and Yale University (Ph.D.). In 2006, she was named a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome in Renaissance and Early Modern scholarship, and in 2019 was named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In addition to The Odyssey, she has published translations of Euripides, Sophocles, and Seneca. Among her other books are Mocked with Death: Tragic Overliving from Sophocles to Milton; The Death of Socrates: Hero, Villain, Chatterbox, Saint; The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca; and Faithful, a book about translation. Wilson is an editor of The Norton Anthology of World Literature and an advisory editor of the Norton Library.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ W. W. Norton & Company; 1st Edition (November 7, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 592 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0393089053
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0393089059
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 830L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.15 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.3 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 3,427 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
3,427 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 22, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 30, 2022
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Top reviews from other countries

Pete Cowell
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling and Thoroughly Readable Translation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 5, 2019
24 people found this helpful
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von Nichthoven
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a thriller
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 5, 2018
39 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 28, 2019
12 people found this helpful
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Alison Adams
2.0 out of 5 stars Paperback edition only - quality/formatting question
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 12, 2018
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2.0 out of 5 stars Paperback edition only - quality/formatting question
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 12, 2018
Before I even start reading this, I need to know if the uneven pages are a 'feature' or a fault !
I certainly don't like it, if you riffle through the pages, they fall in clumps, its hard to stop at a specific page. It feels like I have a faulty one that someone cut with scissors; if this is a deliberate design choice it's a poor one.
Anyone else got the paperback who can comment - should I start reading or return this copy ?
The star rating is for the format of the book only, I haven't read it yet and will amend in future for content.
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10 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's about expanding the mind
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 22, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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