Robert Alter's translation of \"The Five Books of Moses\" was hailed as a \"godsend\" by poet Seamus Heaney. He discusses with Kirsch, also a Biblical scholar, his new translation of the timeless Book of Psalms.
Robert Alter is the Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967. He has written twenty-one books, focusing on such topics as the European novel from the 18th century to the present, contemporary American fiction, and modern Hebrew literature. He has also written extensively on the literary aspects of the Bible. His book The Art of Biblical Narrative won the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought. Other books Alter has written include Hebrew and Modernity, The Pleasures of Reading in an Ideological Age, and most recently, The Five Books of Moses, winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation; and Imagined Cities and Genesis: A New Translation with Commentary.