Daniel Mendelsohn, the author of seven critically acclaimed books, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Chet Raymo Literary Series, scheduled to take place on Thursday October 25 at 6 p.m. in the Martin Institute. The event is free and open to the public.
Mendelsohn’s most recent book, published in 2006, is his most critically acclaimed novel. Titled The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, it traces his research attempting to find information on six relatives who were killed during the Holocaust. The Lost is a New York Times and international bestseller, garnering numerous awards and honors, including the National Books Critics Circle Award. To date, the book has been published in over 15 languages.
His first major book, The Elusive Embrace (1999), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was named the Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.
During his talk at the College, Mendelsohn will speak on "Literature Lost and Found,” an extended rumination on the often haphazard processes by which the great literature of the past was preserved for the present and a reflection, too, on the fact that most of the great classics of the past have not survived.
“The question of the survival of the texts opens out into a broader investigation into what literature itself preserves, and what literature is for,” describes Mendelsohn.
Outside of writing novels, Mendelsohn also published a collection of essays in 2008 called How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken, which received the Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year Award. This October, his second essay collection, Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture, will be published as well.
A Long Island native, Mendelsohn spent his early days in the journalism field, with his works being featured in publications such as The New York Times and The New Yorker. After completing his Ph.D. in Classics from Princeton in 1994, he moved on from the journalistic side and focused his attention on novel and essay writing.
Mendelsohn currently lives in New York City, and is a professor at Bard College. He is also a contributing editor for Travel + Leisure.
About the Chet Raymo Literary Series
Established in 2001 to honor one of Stonehill's most celebrated professors and his contributions to fiction and non-fiction, the Chet Raymo Literary Series is an annual event that brings significant writers of poetry, fiction or non-fiction to Stonehill's campus to share their work and to speak about the art of writing. Raymo is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at the College and is the noted author of 18 books, including When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy.