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Thomas Mann regarded his monumental retelling of the biblical story of Joseph as his magnum opus. He conceived of the four part—The Stories of Jacob, The Young Joseph, Joseph in Egypt, and Joseph the Provider—as a unified narrative, a "mythological novel" of Joseph's fall into slavery and his rise to be lord over Egypt. The result, twelve years in the writing, is a brilliant amalgam of humor, emotion, psychological insight, and epic grandeur.
Now the award-winning translator John E. Woods gives us a definitive new English version of Joseph and His Brothers that is worthy of Mann's achievement. Woods strips away the heavy, awkward, "biblical" diction imposed by the original translator to reveal the novel's exuberant polyphony of ancient and modern voices, a rich music that is by turns elegant, coarse, and sublime.
“An absolutely essential masterpiece, recalled to life in a translation that is itself a formidable work of art.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This excellent new translation by John E. Woods is a cause for celebration: first, because Joseph and His Brothers is in fact a great novel that will now be discovered by a new generation of readers; and second, because Woods himself is to be credited with an extraordinary achievement. . . . Woods tackles the challenges of Mann’s wide-ranging diction with exuberance. . . . Mann has finally found his ideal English translator.” —Ruth Franklin