Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn introducing Robert B. Silvers at the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Awards Ceremony
Born Daniel Adam Mendelsohn
1960 (age 5556)
Long Island, New York, U.S.A.
Occupation Author, essayist, critic, columnist, translator
Nationality American
Genre Criticism, Non-fiction, memoir
Subject Holocaust, Judaism, classics, Cavafy, literature, film, theater, television

Daniel Mendelsohn (born 1960) is an American memoirist, essayist, critic, columnist, and translator.

Life and career

Mendelsohn was born on Long Island and raised in the town of Old Bethpage, New York. He attended the University of Virginia from 1978 to 1982 as an Echols Scholar, graduating with a B.A. summa cum laude in Classics. From 1982 to 1985, he resided in New York City, working as an assistant to an opera impresario, Joseph A. Scuro.[1] The following year he began graduate studies at Princeton University, receiving his M.A. in 1989 and his Ph.D. in 1994. His dissertation, later published as a scholarly monograph by Oxford University Press, was on Euripidean tragedy.

Mendelsohn began contributing reviews, op-eds, and essays to such publications as QW, Out, The New York Times, The Nation, and The Village Voice while still a graduate student; after completing his Ph.D., he moved to New York City and began writing full-time. Since then his review-essays on books, films, theater and television have appeared frequently in a number of major publications, most often in The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. Others include The New York Times Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Newsweek, Esquire, The Paris Review, The New Republic, and Harpers magazine, where he was a culture columnist. Between 2000 and 2002 he was the weekly book critic for New York Magazine, and between 1996 and 2006 his reviews appeared frequently in The New York Times Book Review, where, from 2013 to 2014, he was also a columnist for the "Bookends" page.

Mendelsohn has been the recipient of numerous prizes and honors both in the United States and abroad. Apart from awards for individual books, these include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Harold D. Vursell Memorial Prize for Prose Style (2014); the American Philological Association President's Award for service to the Classics (2014); the George Jean Nathan Prize for Drama Criticism (2002); and the National Book Critics Circle Award Citation for Excellence in Book Reviewing (2000).

Mendelsohn's academic speciality was Greek (especially Euripidean) tragedy; he also published scholarly articles about Roman poetry and Greek religion. From 1994 to 2002, he was a part-time Lecturer in the Classics department at Princeton University. Currently, he holds the Charles Ranlett Flint Chair in Humanities at Bard College, where he teaches one course each semester on literary subjects. In April 2008, he was the Richard Holbrooke Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany. In the Spring of 2010, he was a Critic-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome, and in April 2014 was a visiting writer at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

Mendelsohn is one of five siblings. His brothers include film director Eric Mendelsohn and Matt Mendelsohn, a photographer; his sister, Jennifer Mendelsohn, is also a journalist.[2]

Awards and honors

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Major works


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Essays and Journalism


  1. Astri von Arbin Ahlander (2011-06-27). “Interview with Daniel Mendelsohn”. The Days of Yore. http://www.thedaysofyore.com/daniel-mendelsohn/ Retrieved 2012-01-19
  2. Scott Foundas (2010-01-21). "3 Backyards: Secrets and Insides - Page 2 - Film+TV - Los Angeles". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2010-12-07. Mendelsohn was born in 1964 in Old Bethpage, Long Island, the fourth of five children of a scientist father (who designed target-recognition technology for F14 aircraft at Grumman Aerospace) and teacher mother. His siblings include a photographer, a physicist, journalist Jennifer Mendelsohn and critic and author Daniel Mendelsohn, whose best-selling, Holocaust-themed memoir, The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, is currently being developed as a film by Jean-Luc Godard.
  3. http://www.pen.org/content/pendiamonstein-spielvogel-award-art-essay-10000
  4. John Williams (January 14, 2012). "National Book Critics Circle Names 2012 Award Finalists". New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2013.

External links

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