Lewis Hyde

Writer, translator, scholar and poet whose work focuses on the nature of imagination, creativity and “the art of forgetting” as it appears in myth, politics, art and spiritual life.

  • Author of the highly acclaimed book,  The Gift, Hyde illuminates and defends the non-commercial portion of creativity.
  • His book, Trickster Makes This World, uses a group of ancient myths to argue for the kind of disruptive intelligence all cultures need if they are to remain lively, flexible, and open to change.
  • His book, Common as Air is a stirring defense of our “cultural commons”, that vast store of art and ideas we have inherited from the past and continue to enrich in the present, “an eloquent and erudite plea for protecting our cultural patrimony from appropriation by commercial interests” (Robert Darnton, New York Times Book Review)
  • His book, A Primer for Forgetting, explores the beneficial uses of forgetfulness in myth and politics, in art and spiritual life. Drawing material from Hesiod to Jorge Luis Borges to Elizabeth Bishop to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from poetry and legends to very real and recent traumas both personal and historical.

Lewis Hyde Common As Air  Lewis Hyde The Gift   

One of our true superstars of non-fiction.

- David Foster Wallace

Few books are such life-changers as The Gift: epiphany, in sculpted prose.

- Jonathan Lethe

The event was wonderful--and everyone enjoyed hosting Lewis.

- Dartmouth College

"In A PRIMER FOR FORGETTING, that bold yet gentle intellectual adventurer, Lewis Hyde, harrows the bottomless mysteries of memory and forgetting, trauma and recovery, amnesia and commemoration, reconciliation and forgiveness. If this deep, poignant, soulful, inquisitive, gently tragic and disarmingly erudite book were nine times longer, I would still have felt sad when I realized it was coming to an end."

- Michael Chabon

"Slavery, civil war, genocide―will the consequences of these horrors ever end? Could forgetting be a way to reconciliation? Lewis Hyde distinguishes between kinds of forgetting―one of which may lead to forgiveness and justice. In A PRIMER FOR FORGETTING, he has given us yet another invaluable work that advances humanity."

- Maxine Hong Kingston