2024 Big Read Kickoff: In Conversation with Author Daniel Mendelsohn, Recording Available

Sunday, February 25, 2024 @ 3 pm via Zoom

Author Daniel Mendelsohn in conversation with Rev. Dr. Gordon S. Mikoski & the Pennington Public Library

“But which is the true self? the Odyssey asks, and how many selves
might a man have? As I learned the year my father took my Odyssey course
and we retraced the journeys of its hero, the answers can be surprising.”
Daniel Mendelsohn, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic

Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn is an internationally bestselling author, critic, essayist, and translator. Born in New York City, he received degrees in Classics from the University of Virginia and Princeton. After completing his Ph.D. he moved to New York City, where he began freelance writing full time; since 1991 he has been a prolific contributor of essays, reviews, and articles to many publications, most frequently The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. In February 2019, he was named Editor-at-Large of the New York Review of Books and the Director of the Robert B. Silvers Foundation, a charitable trust that supports writers of nonfiction, essay, and criticism.

Mendelsohn’s books include An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic (2017), named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Newsday, Library Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and Kirkus; The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (2006), which won the National Books Critics Circle Award and the National Jewish Book Award in the United States and the Prix Médicis in France; and a memoir, The Elusive Embrace (1999), a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. His tenth book, Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate (September 2020) was recognized as a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and Literary Hub and received the Prix Du Meilleur Livre Étranger 2020 [Best Foreign Book Prize] in France.

Daniel Mendelsohn’s honors include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Harry Vursell Prize for Prose Style, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Barnes and Noble Discover Prize, the NBCC Citation for Excellence in Book Reviewing, the George Jean Nathan Prize for Drama Criticism, and Princeton University’s James Madison Medal. A member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Association, he sits on the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies and teaches literature at Bard College.

Rev. Dr. Gordon S. Mikoski, Facilitator

Gordon Mikoski, MDiv ’88, MA ’89, associate professor of Christian education, earned his MDiv and MA degrees from the Princeton Theological Seminary, and his PhD from Emory University. His research and teaching interests focus on Christian education, the sacraments, the doctrine of the Trinity, and practical theology. During the season of Lent for the past nine years, Rev. Dr. Mikoski has taught courses on classical literature in biblical perspective. In the first six years, he taught every one of Shakespeare’s 38 plays. For the past three years, he has focused on Homer and Virgil. This year’s focus will be on Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Rev. Dr. Mikoski has written and edited several books, including: Integrating Work in Theological Education, co-edited with Kathleen Cahalan and Ed Foley (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2017); and Opening the Field of Practical Theology, co-edited with Kathleen Cahalan (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014). He serves as the editor for Theology Today. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he served a church in the Detroit area for eight years before returning to academia. His wife, the Rev. Nancy Mikoski, serves as pastor of the Pennington Presbyterian Church.

This event is part of the 2024 NEA Big Read – an initiative designed to broaden our imaginations and understanding of our world, our neighbors, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The featured book Circe by Madeline Miller retells a Greek story from the eponymous heroine’s point of view, giving voice to a lesser goddess of Homer’s The Odyssey. Please visit PenningtonLibrary.org/2024BigRead for a full calendar of events and more information.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.