Living with a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin

Ann Patty. Viking, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-101-98022-4
Patty, a former Crown executive editor and the founder of Poseidon Press, vivaciously recounts her embrace of Latin and the manifold ways it reshaped her life. The story begins with her retiring from publishing and moving to a country house in upstate New York. However, Patty found it hard to relax and felt anxious about how she was going to fill her time. She decided to take a college course in Latin—a subject she last studied in the seventh grade—and ended up taking 12 courses. After some research, Patty found a beginning class at Vassar College and threw herself into her studies with passion. Hers is not a story of easy success—she becomes anxious and angry with herself when she fails to grasp a concept or translate a sentence correctly—but Patty’s love of language and desire to stave off ennui bolster her through six years. She eventually translates the poetry of, among other writers, Catullus and Ovid, discovering how the latter “makes Latin dance.” This captivating and charming memoir shows how the study of Latin can be “another form of meditation... another way of slowing down.” Agent: Meg Ruley, Janet Rotrosen Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 06/14/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-101-98023-1
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