James Joyce
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James Joyce : A Biography

3.63 (150 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Long-awaited and comprehensive biography of the great Irish author James JoyceJames Joyce was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, but he was not immediately recognised as such; rather he lived in exile in the cosmopolitan Europe of the 1920s in a bid to escape the suffocating atmosphere and parochial prejudices of his native Dublin. His unstinting dedication to authorship picks him out as a writer in the romantic tradition. He battled poverty and financial dependency for much of his adult life, as well as near-blindness from 1917 and the grief of his daughter Lucia's mental illness. He suffered too the slings and arrows of uncomprehending critics especially for his influential Ulysses, which was banned in both Britain and America. Drawing on considerable new material that has only recently become available, Gordon Bowker's biography attempts to get beyond the exterior life to explore the inner landscape of an extraordinary writer who continues to influence and fascinate, well over a century after his birth.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 624 pages
  • 136 x 212 x 54mm | 698.53g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 075382860X
  • 9780753828601
  • 317,568

About Gordon Bowker

Gordon Bowker is the acclaimed author of a biography of Malcolm Lowry, (author of UNDER THE VOLCANO), entitled PURSUED BY FURIES and an excellent biography of George Orwell. He lives in Notting Hill, London.show more

Review quote

We owe Mr Bowker a debt of gratitude for his considerable courage in undertaking this mammoth task. -- Hugh McFadden * Books Ireland * Detailed, thoughtful and illuminating, Gordon Bowker's portrait of the inimitable artist is sympathetic, challenging and thoroughly entertaining. * Good Book Guide * This new biography is both learned and readable. It is an admirable monument to a brilliant yet often unfortunate man whose star still shines. -- John Hinton * Catholic Herald * A wonderfully lively and meticulously researched account of the life and work of a fascinatingly inexplicable paradox.... wonderfully detailed, gripping... -- Chris Proctor * The Tribune * Bowker has already written brilliantly on Malcolm Lowry and George Orwell and this new book extends the record ? and not only the record, but the entire epistemology of the Joycean discourse... has restored Joyce to his contradictory, ambivalent humanity... shrewd and highly readable biography. -- Thomas McCarthy * Irish Examiner * Reading Bowker on the genesis of Finnegans Wake make me want to read it again. -- Tibor Fischer * STANDPOINT * good time for a strong new biography of James Joyce, 70 years after his death and almost 30 since the revised version of Richard Ellmann's classic contribution to the form...Bowker devotes a greater proportion of his book to Joyce's life after Ulysses than Ellmann does, the period of his physical decline, obsession with the mental health of Lucia, and dogged engagement with the night games of what became Finnegans Wake. -- Adam Mars-Jones * THE OBSERVER * informed by many new biographical sources and discoveries... a usefully demystifying version of the life of one of the 20th century's most complicated literary artists. * NEW STATESMAN * Gordon Bowker's new biography of James Joyce draws on new materialto explore in greater depth than ever before the life and legacy of this extraordinary writer. * CHOICE * The author excels in his wit, clarity and sheer readability as he tackles in full the life of Ireland's greatest writer. * METRO * a very accessible and solid biography. -- Lesley McDowell * THE SCOTSMAN * This is an entertainingly readable biography of a genius. * BELFAST TELEGRAPH * a readable, reliable biography in a new voice -- Iain Finlayson * THE TIMES * This sound, hefty biography is enjoyable and fair... -- Peter Lewis * DAILY MAIL * Bowker's biography - packed as it is with incidents, ideas and sympathy - proves inspiring -- Richard Davenport-Hines * SUNDAY TELEGRAPH * a sound and readable telling of the writer's tale for newcomers, into whose hands it may be given without a qualm. * LITERARY REVIEW * a scrupulously researched, entertainingly readable biography of a maddeningly protean, contradictory genius. -- John Walsh * THE INDEPENDENT * This biography is both learned and readable; it is an attractive monument to a brilliant, kind-hearted, often unfortunate man. -- Edmund Gordon * THE SUNDAY TIMES * A great read for anyone remotely into Joyce * The Catholic Herald * Only the second major biography of the author to appear since his death in 1941. * Sunday Business Post *show more

Review Text

Only the second major biography of the author to appear since his death in 1941. Sunday Business Post 20120318show more

Rating details

150 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 19% (28)
4 41% (62)
3 28% (42)
2 9% (13)
1 3% (5)
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