Author, Author

Author, Author

Book - 2004
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"A cunning, audacious portait of Henry James."-- The Boston Globe

Henry James takes center stage in this brilliant story about literary ambition, creativity, and rivalry as revealed in the public career and private life of this most singular writer. Framed by a moving and dramatic account of his last illness, Author opens in the early 1880s, describing James's close friendship with an illustrator named George du Maurier and his intimate but problematic relationship with fellow American novelist Constance Fenimore Woolson. At the end of the decade, Henry, worried by the failure of his books to sell, resolves to achieve fame and fortune as a playwright, while du Maurier diversifies into writing novels. The consequences that ensue mingle comedy, irony, pathos, and suspense. As Du Maurier's novel Trilby becomes the bestseller of the century, Henry anxiously awaits the opening night of his make-or-break play, Guy Domville . This event, on January 5, 1895, and its complex sequel form the climax to Lodge's absorbing novel.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2004.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780143036098
0143036092
9780670033492
0670033499
Branch Call Number: FICTION Lodge David 2004
Characteristics: 389 p. ;,24 cm.

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lukasevansherman
Sep 28, 2014

"We work in the dark-we do what we can-we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."-Henry James, "The Middle Years"
Henry James was perhaps the first American author to totally devote himself to the art of fiction and believed that it was just as important, if not more so, than making money or having a job. His books remain intimidating for the novice reader: dense, wordy, plunged into the psychology of his characters. You could make the argument that his books are proto-stream of consciousness (a term his brother William coined) and that he stands as the first truly modern novelist. This witty, smart, and moving book by writer and critic David Lodge is a novel about James, focusing on his time in London and his unsuccessful attempts to become a playwright, the nadir of which was being booed on stage after the premier of "Guy Domville." It is both a rich and subtle portrait of James and of the Later Victorian era, full of fellow authors like Shaw, Wells (whom Lodge also wrote a novel about), Wilde, Sargent, and James's good friend, the artist and writer George Du Maurier. Indeed, their friendship is the heart of the novel. One of the best fiction books written about an author.

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