“A unique and special kind of masterpiece.” —John Banville
In the tradition of The Alchemist—a fable about the soul's journey to hope, healing, and forgiveness
Now available in paperback
In The Way of Forgiveness, the distinguished writer and translator Stephen Mitchell provides a stirring account of the power and wisdom of forgiveness.
Based on the biblical story of Joseph and his brothers—a beautiful, brilliant, arrogant young man is sold into slavery but eventually rises to become viceroy of Egypt—The Way of Forgiveness is a riveting expansion, lush with vivid characters and a captivating sense of place. What’s new here is the lyrical, witty, vivid prose, informed by a wisdom that brings fresh insight to this foundational legend of betrayal and all-embracing forgiveness.
Mitchell’s retelling interweaves the narrative with brief meditations that, with their Zen surprises, expand and illuminate the main themes. The engrossing tale that he has created will capture the hearts and minds of modern readers and show them that this ancient story can still challenge, delight, and astonish.
The Way of Forgiveness is the paperback edition of Joseph and the Way of Forgiveness.
“Stephen Mitchell is a tireless curator of wisdom, whose life’s work is nothing less than the study of human transformation. With Joseph and the Way of Forgiveness, Mitchell has reached back in time to one of our oldest stories of grace and brought its lessons forward to us. The heart cannot help but be moved and healed by the treasure to be found in these pages.” —Elizabeth Gilbert
“Stephen Mitchell’s Joseph and the Way of Forgiveness is a rich and meaningful chronicle-cum-midrash.” —Cynthia Ozick
"Joseph and the Way of Forgiveness is a beautiful ‘retelling’ of one of the most profound and moving passages in the Bible. Stephen Mitchell has fashioned a deceptively simple version of the story of Joseph and his brothers, and given it back to the world in luminous prose that the authors of the King James Version would applaud. A unique and special kind of masterpiece."—John Banville
"Stephen Mitchell has offered us a lovely treat, a creative and heartfelt way to re-inhabit this biblical story full of wisdom and healing." —Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart
“Joseph and the Way of Forgiveness is a timeless narrative that will transform your mind as it engages your imagination. It’s a delight to read, a wonder for the heart, and an inspiration.”
—Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Aware—The Science and Practice of Presence
“Joseph and the Way of Forgiveness is a sparkling, joyous retelling of a story that seems endlessly opaque and hard to comprehend in the Bible. Stephen Mitchell has made the story wondrous, and a page turner that takes us into a new, mysterious world, as palpable as the one we live in today.” —Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest
“Stephen Mitchell’s vividly imagined narrative breathes interior life into the classic Joseph story, and offers the reader a generous and much needed gift—an incisive and moving account of the spiritual power of forgiveness.” —Elaine Pagels
"How do you honestly and deeply 'interpret' a dream? By dreaming it onwards. How do you honestly and deeply read a story from the Bible? By telling it onwards, again and again, with a reverent imagination. Stephen Mitchell has beautifully reimagined the Biblical story of Joseph with an enhanced retelling in exquisite language and with subtle insight. You won’t find a more moving, inspiring and enlightening book on the Bible."
—Thomas Moore, author of The Care of the Soul and Ageless Soul
"A lyrical and vivid retelling of the biblical tale, with powerful lessons for those of us living in a fractious age."
—Rabbi David Wolpe, author of David: The Divided Heart
"Exceptionally written and scripturally loyal, this is a fine achievement."—Kirkus (Starred Review)
"It is not just Tolstoy who saw the Biblical tale of Joseph and His Brothers as 'the most beautiful story in the world.' It is also the Qur’an, which narrates it in full, while introducing it as 'the most beautiful of narrations.' In this elegant book, Stephen Mitchell takes that beauty to new heights, while also elucidating the moral wisdom behind it. He presents not just an enchanting prose, but also an uplifting spirit."
— Mustafa Akyol, author of The Islamic Jesus
"[A] captivating contemporary retelling of the biblical story of Joseph"—Publisher's Weekly
"Evoking the ancient Jewish art of Midrash, Mitchell has now novelized this timeless story, bringing to it a touch of metafiction, and a sometimes breezy and insouciant but always reverent style. Richly imagined and told in bite-size chapters, the story is compulsively readable and inspirational. It’s a timeless tale retold in a timeless fashion.” — Booklist
“With the gift of a storyteller and the knowledge of a Bible scholar, Mitchell engages in an extended work of midrash that breathes new life and meaning into familiar characters…. A pleasurable, enlightening, lively, and lyrical book.” —Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal
"Joseph and the Way of Forgiveness: A Biblical Tale Retold” by Stephen Mitchell (St. Martin’s) reads like a novelistic treatment of the Joseph story, when he is sold into slavery by his brothers. Mitchell inserts brief mediations into the narrative, illuminating ideas. About Joseph, he writes, “True forgiveness, he had learned, is the realization that there is nothing to forgive.” —The New York Jewish Week