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Holocaust Novel Named One of Best Books of 2011


January 10, 2012

Contact: Karen Anderson
Bard College at Simon’s Rock
413 528 7209

Berkshire Scholar Peter Filkins Translation of H.G. Adler’s Panorama Praised

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA— The New Republic recently named H.G. Adler’s Panorama one the best books of 2011. The book, first published in German, is the second Adler novel translated by Bard College at Simon’s Rock Professor Peter Filkins.

Filkins, a lifelong Berkshire resident, first came across the author in 2001. “The richness and uniqueness of H.G. Adler's writing captivated me from the start when I first encountered his novel The Journey in German in a Cambridge bookstore,” Filkins remembered. “Only later did I learn that, despite having published 26 books of fiction, poetry, history, and religion, and though he was one of the first thinkers to produce rigorous scholarship on the Holocaust, he had been almost entirely unknown and neglected.”

Translating the author from German to English became a labor of love for Filkins. He is currently working on 'The Wall', which will complete Adler’s trilogy about his experiences in Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Buchenwald and several other concentration camps during World War II.

“It’s exciting to bring an author like him back. His books are now translated in French, Italian, and Hebrew,” said Filkins. “Seeing new books and conferences on Adler cropping up in America and Europe has been deeply satisfying.”

Filkins, who earned his BA from Williams College and an MFA from Columbia University, learned to speak German in college. He developed fluency at the University of Vienna when he won a Fulbright grant to translate the poems of Ingeborg Backmann.

A professor of professor of literature at Simon’s Rock for 24 years, Filkins grew up in Dalton, MA. He currently resides in Cheshire, MA

Bard College at Simon’s Rock has been a leader in educational innovation for more than 40 years. The first early college, Simon’s Rock is the only residential college in the country specifically designed to let bright, highly motivated students start college immediately after the 10th or 11th grade. Students who successfully complete the requirements receive the Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree after two years of study and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree after four.