The Odyssey

Homer (Author), Emily Wilson (Translator, University of Pennsylvania)

Overview | Formats

“Wilson’s language is fresh, unpretentious and lean.… It is rare to find a translation that is at once so effortlessly easy to read and so rigorously considered.” —Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, 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.

This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the “complicated” hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.

Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson’s Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer’s music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer’s swift, smooth pace.

A fascinating, informative introduction explores the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the poem’s major themes, 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 is an Odyssey that will be treasured by a new generation of readers.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming November 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35625-0
  • 5.7 × 8.3 in / 592 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Odyssey


Endorsements & Reviews

“A masterpiece of translation.” — Rowan Williams, University of Cambridge

“A revelation. Never have I been so aware at once of the beauty of the poetry, the physicality of Homer’s world, and the moral ambiguity of those who inhabit it.” — Susan Chira, New York Times Book Review

“Emily Wilson’s crisp and musical version is a cultural landmark.… This translation will change the way the poem is read in English.” — Charlotte Higgins, Guardian

“In the history of Odyssey translations, few have exerted such a cultural influence that they become ‘classics’ in their own right.… I predict that Emily Wilson will win a place in this roll-call of the most significant translations of the poem in history. She certainly deserves the honour.” — Edith Hall, Daily Telegraph

“Emily Wilson has given us 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

“When I first read these lines…, I was floored. I’d never read an Odyssey that sounded like this. It had such directness, the lines feeling not as if they were being fed into iambic pentameter because of some strategic decision but because the meter was a natural mode for its speaker.” — Wyatt Mason, New York Times Magazine

“Irresistibly readable, Wilson’s Odyssey turns Homeric epic into a poetic feast.” — Froma Zeitlin, Princeton 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 answers Adrienne Rich’s call to ‘question everything’ and will be enjoyed for generations to come.” — Aline Ohanesian, author of Orhan’s Inheritance

“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. Steering assuredly between the Scylla of archaism and the Charybdis of the transiently colloquial, Wilson brings into a rhythmic English the power, dignity, variety, and immediacy of this great poem.” — Laura Slatkin, New York University

Also by Homer All

  1. Book CoverThe Odyssey

    Second Edition / Paperback

  2. Book CoverThe Odyssey: A New Verse Translation


Also by Emily Wilson All

  1. Book CoverThe Norton Anthology of Western Literature

    Ninth Edition / Paperback

    Volume(s): 2

  2. Book CoverThe Norton Anthology of Western Literature

    Ninth Edition / Paperback

    Volume(s): 1

  3. Book CoverThe Norton Anthology of World Literature

    Fourth Edition / Paperback

    Volume(s): Package 1: Volumes A, B, C