Henry James takes center stage in David Lodge’s brilliant novel of literary ambition, creativity, and rivalry as revealed in James’s public career and private life. Pivoting on the dramatic first night of his play, Guy Domville, and thronged with vividly drawn characters, 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 nor resolved his sexual identity yet wrote some of the greatest novels in the English language about love.
intriguing project, scintillating execution
By Heather "graduate student of British literature" - July 20, 2005
This novel takes the life of Henry James as its subject and interpolates fact with fiction without losing its energy. Lodge does a wonderful job of lighting up the things that we do know about James and adding some conjecture. His rendering of the opening night of "Guy Domville"--James's flop of a play--is both comic and tragic, and would itself be worth the price of the book. Unlike Colm Toibin's "The Master" (another fictionalized biography of James), Lodge doesn't succumb to saccharine or sentimental devices to close the book, but remains sharp from beginning to end.
Novel about An Interesting Novelist
By Jane Austin "Jane" - March 19, 2005
"Author, Author" is a well researched and entertaining novel about the novelist, Henry James. Its a must read for James'fans. Interestingly, his writings are remembered, studied and reprinted while more popular novels of his time ('best sellers') have been forgotten.( There is a lesson in that fact somewhere!) Beginning and ending with the deathbed scene of James the novel focuses on his later years and his time in England, and especially with his relationship with Constance Fenimore Woolson and George DuMaurier. At the book's end, author Lodge, specifies what details he has made up. I found this book to be a page turner.
Praise and a question
By Walter Bruno - July 8, 2006
An excellent book: perceptive, passionate, meticulous, and intelligent. Lodge accompanies his subject wisely, sympathetically, but never indulgently. He's especially good at showing how literature can never transform itself into a performance art, and what makes the theatre a precursor to the book, an implacable mechanism. The novel is an entire education in taste, literacy, fashion, and the essentials of fiction.
Lodge's account of literary friendships and of the curse of Envy is spot-on. James himself would have blanched at its accuracy.
I have a question. The UK edition (paperback) is printed in 8-pt type, virtually unreadable to those over 24, which is surprising, since people under 24 don't read books. And especially novels about dead white American-Victorian Anglophiles. So how about it? Is there any edition, anywhere, printed in something bigger than 9 points?
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