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Robert Alter's ongoing translation of the Hebrew Bible, the magnificent capstone to a lifetime of distinguished scholarly work, has won the PEN Center Literary Award for Translation. His immense achievements in scholarship ranging from the eighteenth-century European novel to contemporary Hebrew and American literature earned Alter the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.
"Robert Altern's translation with commentary of 'The Five Books of Moses' can be fairly described as a godsend". Seamus Heaney, Books of the Year, "The Times Literary Supplments". "In this remarkable translation....a monument of scholarship....Alter brings a kind of sensitivity to bear on moment after moment of his translation...".James Wood, "London Review of Books". "The commentary is at least as important as the translation, and the two together make up a unique contribution both to biblical studies and to the understanding and appreciation of a text that is central to Western culture". John Barton, "The Times Literary Supplement". "A new translation with fascinating annotations". Robert Crumb, Summer books, "The Guardian".