International best-selling author and award-winning critic and essayist Daniel Mendelsohn will kick off Alumni Weekend 2019 during the Founders Day Convocation on Thursday, April 25, at 7:15 p.m. in the Walker Arts Center's Graham Theater.
Mendelsohn has penned seven books, and his essays and reviews have appeared in numerous national publications, most frequently the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and The New York Times.
His memoir, "The Elusive Embrace" was a New York Times Notable Book of 1999 and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. His first collection of essays, "How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken," was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year in 2008. "Waiting for Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture" was a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award in Criticism and runner-up for the PEN Art of the Essay Award.
"The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million" is an account of Mendelsohn's search for information about six relatives who perished in the Holocaust published in 2006. It was a New York Times and international bestseller and went on to win the National Book Critics Circle Award the Salon Book Award and the Prix Médicis in France.
His most recent book, "An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic," recounts his travels around the Mediterranean with his late father, a scientist, while reading the Odyssey. The book earned the Prix Méditerranée and Prix Transfuge in France; was a finalist for the Baillie-Gifford Prize for Nonfiction and the London Hellenic Prize in the UK; was named A Best Book of 2017 by NPR, the Library Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and Newsday; and was named Kirkus Best Memoir of 2017.
Mendelsohn has also published a scholarly study of Greek tragedy, "Gender and the City in Euripides' Political Plays," and a translation with commentary: "C.P. Cavafy: Complete Poems." His book on the works of Cavafy earned Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2009 and was shortlisted for the Criticos Prize in the United Kingdom.
Mendelsohn's other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics' Circle Citation for Excellence in Book Reviewing, and the George Jean Nathan Prize for Drama Criticism. The Economist named him on its list of the best critics writing in the English language. He has also been elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. In 2014, he received the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters for "prose that merits recognition for the quality of its style."
Asheville School is excited to welcome Mendelsohn for the 2019 Founders Day Convocation. The event is open to those registered for Alumni Weekend 2019.
Image: Matt Mendelsohn courtesy of the Steven Barclay Agency