Author! Author!

Author! Author!

3.59 (715 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Framed by a dramatic and moving account of Henry James's last illness, Author! Author! begins in the early 1880s, describing James's friendship with the genial Punch artist, 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. Thronged with vividly drawn characters, some of them with famous names, Author! Author! presents a fascinating panorama of literary and theatrical life in late Victorian England. But at its heart is a portrait, rendered with remarkable empathy, of a writer who never achieved popular success in his lifetime or resolved his sexual identity, yet wrote some of the greatest novels about love in the English language.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 26mm | 281.23g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141018224
  • 9780141018225
  • 385,027

Review quote

A bold new departure for Lodge... his portrait of Henry James explores an interaction of fragility and strength, delicacy and force. ("The New York Review of Books")
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Flap copy

A new literary, historical novel from the popular author of Therapy and Thinks.
The protagonist is the American novelist Henry James, and the focus is on James's friendship with George Du Maurier, the famous "Punch artist and illustrator, and on his literary middle years - the 1880s. Henry is seriously worried by the declining popularity of his books and decides to try his hand as a playwright. At the same time, George Du Maurier diversifies into writing novels. The consequences for both men are surprising, ironic, comic and tragic by turns. As Du Maurier's Trilby, much to the bewilderment of its author himself, becomes the bestseller of the century, Henry anxiously awaits the first night of his make-or-break play, "Guy Domville.
Thronged with vividly drawn characters, Author, Author presents a fascinating panorama of literary and theatrical life in late Victorian England, which in many ways, foreshadowed today's cultural mix of art, commerce and publicity. But it is essentially a novel about authorship - about the obsessions, hopes, triumphs and disappointments of those who live by the pen.
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About David Lodge

David Lodge is the author of eleven bestselling novels, a novella and numerous works of literary criticism, including Consciousness and the Novel. He also wrote two highly successful TV adaptations: his own novel NICE WORK and Dickens' MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. He taught for many years at the University of Birmingham, where he is now Honorary Prof of English. Though a south Londoner by upbringing, he continues to live in Birmingham. David Lodge's novels include Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work, Therapy and, most recently, Thinks... He has also written numerous works of literary criticism, including Consciousness and the Novel, The Art of Fiction and The Practice of Writing, which are available in Penguin.
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Rating details

715 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 17% (118)
4 41% (293)
3 30% (216)
2 10% (71)
1 2% (17)
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