Q&A with Adam Nicolson, longlisted for 'The Mighty Dead: Why Homer matters'
6 October 2014
Where does Homer come from? And why does Homer matter? His epic poems of war and suffering can still speak to us of the role of destiny in life, of cruelty, of humanity and its frailty, but why they do is a mystery. How can we be so intimate with something so distant? In this passionate and deeply personal book, Adam Nicolson sets out to explain why these great ancient poems still have so much to say about what it is to be human, to love, lose, grow old and die. The Mighty Dead is a journey of history and discovery, sewn together by the oldest stories we have – the Iliad and the Odyssey. Reflecting on fathers and sons, men and women, on the necessity for love and the violence of warriors, on peace and war, youth and old-age, Homer is the deep voice of Europe, as dark as Mavrodaphne and as glowingly alive as anything that has ever been.
Adam Nicolson is the author of many critically acclaimed and bestselling books on history and the landscape including Sissinghurst, Sea Room and When God Spoke English. He has won the Somerset Maugham Prize, the WH Heinemann Prize and the Ondaatje Prize, and has written and presented many series for television, most recently The Century That Wrote Itself, about life and writing in the 17th century. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in Sussex with his wife and family.