James Joyce : A Biography
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James Joyce : A Biography by Gordon Bowker
James 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.
ReviewsOnly the second major biography of the author to appear since his death in 1941. Sunday Business Post A great read for anyone remotely into Joyce The Catholic Herald 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 scrupulously researched, entertainingly readable biography of a maddeningly protean, contradictory genius. -- John Walsh THE INDEPENDENT a sound and readable telling of the writer's tale for newcomers, into whose hands it may be given without a qualm. LITERARY REVIEW Bowker's biography - packed as it is with incidents, ideas and sympathy - proves inspiring -- Richard Davenport-Hines SUNDAY TELEGRAPH This sound, hefty biography is enjoyable and fair... -- Peter Lewis DAILY MAIL a readable, reliable biography in a new voice -- Iain Finlayson THE TIMES This is an entertainingly readable biography of a genius. BELFAST TELEGRAPH a very accessible and solid biography. -- Lesley McDowell THE SCOTSMAN The author excels in his wit, clarity and sheer readability as he tackles in full the life of Ireland's greatest writer. METRO 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 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 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 Reading Bowker on the genesis of Finnegans Wake make me want to read it again. -- Tibor Fischer STANDPOINT 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 A wonderfully lively and meticulously researched account of the life and work of a fascinatingly inexplicable paradox... wonderfully detailed, gripping... -- Chris Proctor The Tribune 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 Detailed, thoughtful and illuminating, Gordon Bowker's portrait of the inimitable artist is sympathetic, challenging and thoroughly entertaining. Good Book Guide We owe Mr Bowker a debt of gratitude for his considerable courage in undertaking this mammoth task. -- Hugh McFadden Books Ireland
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Publication date1st March 2012
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PublisherPhoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co