The Art of Biblical Narrative (Paperback)

By Robert Alter

Basic Books, 9780465022557, 272pp.

Publication Date: April 26, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/1/1983)

List Price: 17.99*
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From celebrated translator of the Hebrew Bible Robert Alter, the classic study of the Bible as literature, a winner of the National Jewish Book Award

Renowned critic and translator Robert Alter's The Art of Biblical Narrative has radically expanded our view of the Bible by recasting it as a work of literary art deserving studied criticism. In this seminal work, Alter describes how the Hebrew Bible's many authors used innovative literary styles and devices such as parallelism, contrastive dialogue, and narrative tempo to tell one of the most revolutionary stories of all time: the revelation of a single God. In so doing, Alter shows, these writers reshaped not only history, but also the art of storytelling itself.

About the Author

Robert Alter is Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. His translation of the Hebrew Bible has won the PEN Center Literary Award for Translation, and he is translator and author of numerous other books, including The Art of Biblical Poetry. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime contributions to American letters, he lives in Berkeley, California.

Praise For The Art of Biblical Narrative

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought

"A groundbreaking study that encourages us to look beneath the theological surface of the biblical text to glimpse its beating heart."—Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times

"[An] admirable book....It is truly extraordinary that such familiar tales as those of Joseph and David should acquire so much detail and color, as if perfectly restored."—The New York Times

"The results of [Alter's] work give the Bible a fresh voice for a new generation of readers."—Christian Science Monitor

"This clearly written book should please anyone interested in the fundamentals of storytelling."—The Washington Post