One Woman Makes History With Epic Translation of This Literary Classic

Author and journalist Caroline Alexander has gained recognition for writing two bestsellers and writing for prominent publications such as The New Yorker and National Geographic.

But now she's gaining recognition for her translation of a literary classic that's more than 2,000 years old.

This week, Alexander's translation of "The Iliad" is being published and is attracting the attention of influential academics, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Alexander has spent more than five years on her version, telling The Wall Street Journal that she couldn't imagine taking on a project "unless you believed you could do a better job."

For that reason she hopes that her translation will become the "translation of record."

"In my judgment, this new translation is far superior to the familiar and admired work of Richmond Lattimore, Robert Fitzgerald and Robert Fagles," said Glen W. Bowers, professor emeritus of ancient history at the Institute for Advanced Study.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "classical scholars believe that her translation is the first published in English by a woman."

The company publishing Alexander's translation has high hopes for the book — publishing 30,000 copies for its initial print run.

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