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The Golden Ass

by Apuleius


Sarah Ruden (View Bio)
Hardcover: Yale University Press, 2012.

The Golden Ass

Sarah Ruden’s new translation of The Golden Ass rebirths Apuleius' classic work.  A poet as well as a highly respected translator, she skillfully duplicates the verbal high jinks of Apuleius' ever-popular novel, which tells the story of a young man, Lucius, who is turned into a donkey.  He is doomed to wander and to suffer at the hands of a series of owners until at last restored to human form.  The first Latin novel to survive in its entirety, The Golden Ass was part of a movement of learned and inventive literature. In a translation both faithful and entertaining, Ruden reveals the vivid force of Apuleius' farcical imagination and ingenious style.

"Sarah Ruden's superb translation of Apuleius' The Golden Ass illuminates this wonderful story with a brilliant modern wit." — Philip Pullman, The Observer

"An even more gimmicky book, brilliantly executed, is Sarah Ruden’s new translation of Apuleius' neo-platonist romp about a guy who magically turns into a donkey, The Golden Ass, which conveys how truly bizarre the style of the original is." — Emily Wilson, The Times Literary Supplement

"For the best sense of Apuleius' imagination, wit and brio, this is the version to have." — Richard Jenkyns, Times Literary Supplement

"A cause for celebration on many counts…. We owe Sarah Ruden a great debt of thanks for [this] English translation that is no less inventive, varied, and surprising than the original." — G. W. Bowersock, The New York Review of Books

"A rollicking ride well worth the fare…marvelously, sidesplittingly ridiculous…. It’s a story, not a homily, and Sarah Ruden has re-bestowed it with artful aplomb." — Tracy Lee Simmons, National Review

"The most immediately entertaining work of Latin literature... Ruden gives the reader a rich blend of the colloquial and the elevated…[in] a very American translation that captures much of the fun of the original.”—" — D. Konstan, Choice

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