2005 Koret Jewish Book Special Award for Translation and Commentary
Synopses & Reviews
The capstone of a brilliant scholar's lifelong work to establish the literary identity of the Bible, in an elegant, slipcased hardcover.
Through a distinguished career of critical scholarship and translation, Robert Alter has equipped us to read the Hebrew Bible as a powerful, cohesive work of literature. The culmination of this work, Alter's masterly new translation and probing commentary combine to give contemporary readers the definitive edition of The Five Books. Alter's majestic translation recovers the mesmerizing effect of these ancient stories the profound and haunting enigmas, the ambiguities of motive and image, and the distinctive cadences and lovely precision of the Hebrew text. Other modern translations either recast these features for contemporary clarity, thereby losing the character of the original, or fail to give readers a suitably fluid English as a point of contact. Alter's translation conveys the music and the meaning of the Hebrew text in a lyrical, lucid English. His accompanying commentary illuminates the text with learned insight and reflection on its literary and historical dimensions.
"[Alter's] magisterial translation deserves to become the version
in which many future generations encounter this strange and
inexhaustible book." Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review
Through a distinguished career of critical scholarship and translation, Robert Alter has equipped us to read the Hebrew Bible as a powerful, cohesive work of literature. In this landmark work, Alter's masterly translation and probing commentary combine to give contemporary readers the definitive edition of The Five Books. Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation and the Koret Jewish Book Award for Translation, a NewsweekTop 15 Book, Los Angeles TimesFavorite Book, and San Francisco ChronicleBest Book.
"A modern classic....Thrilling and constantly illuminating."'"Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World
About the Author
Robert Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published many acclaimed works on the Bible, literary modernism, and contemporary Hebrew literature.