When Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey appeared in 2017-revealing the ancient poem in a contemporary idiom that “combines intellectual authority with addictive readability” (Edith Hall, The Sunday Telegraph)-critics lauded it as “a revelation” (Susan Chira, The New York Times) and “a cultural landmark” (Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian) that would forever change how Homer is read in English. Now Wilson has returned with an equally revelatory translation of the first great Homeric epic: The Iliad.
In Wilson’s hands, this exciting and often horrifying work now gallops at a pace befitting its battle scenes, roaring with the clamour of arms, the bellowing boasts of victors and the anguished cries of dying men. Wilson’s unadorned but resonant language plumbs the poem’s profound pathos and reveals its characters as palpably real, even “complicated”, human beings. Capping a decade of intense engagement with Homer’s poetry, Wilson’s Iliad now gives us a complete Homer for our generation.