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The Odyssey

Translated by Emily Wilson

written by Homer

W. W. Norton & Company | ISBN 9780393089059



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This fresh, exciting, but scholarly and authoritative new translation of Homer’s Odyssey is perfect for anyone who’s been intrigued by the classics but has been daunted by dusty and dour Victorian interpretations. Wilson writes in a flowing iambic pentameter that captures the poetry of the original text, but reads naturally and easily in English.
As the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English, Wilson illuminates aspects of the story that have been obscured by generations of conventional interpretations. Her approach, which deals with the original directly and on its own terms, reveals heretofore unexplored perspectives and ideas that are not only fascinating, but also eminently applicable for contemporary readers.
Most importantly, Wilson’s translation is really fun to read. She breathes life into a story at the very foundation of Western literature in a way that is simultaneously classic and revolutionary.


A lean, fleet-footed translation that recaptures Homer’s "nimble gallop" and brings an ancient epic to new life.

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, family and identity; and about travellers, hospitality and the changing meanings of home in a strange world.

This vivid new translation—the first by a woman—matches the number of lines in the Greek original, striding at Homer’s sprightly pace. Emily Wilson employs elemental, resonant language and a five-beat line to produce a translation with an enchanting “rhythm and rumble” that avoids proclaiming its own grandeur. An engrossing tale told in a compelling new voice that allows contemporary readers to luxuriate in Homer’s descriptions and similes and to thrill at the tension and excitement of its hero’s adventures, Wilson recaptures what is “epic” about this wellspring of world literature.

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