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Bestselling author of eleven novels, mostly with an academic or satirical background, tackles something very different – the waning years of the novelist Henry James’ life as he turns to play writing in a fascinating portrait of the literary and theatrical world of late Victorian England. Chosen by many, from P J Kavanagh to Ruth Rendell, as their book of the year last Christmas, it is a very fine work indeed, moving, highly accessible and beautifully written; just great David Lodge writing.
Comparison: Colm Tóibín, and not historical, William Boyd, Jonathan Coe.
Similar this month: Iain Pears, Tash Aw.
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.
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 or resolved his sexual identity, yet wrote some of the greatest novels about love in the English language.
Publication date: 07/07/2005
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback (b Format)
|Publication date:||7th July 2005|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Format:||Paperback (b Format)|
|Genres:||Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,|
David Lodge was born in London in 1935. He was educated at University College London, where he took his BA degree in 1955 and his MA in 1959. In between he did National Service in the British Army. He holds a doctorate from the University of Birmingham, where he taught in the English Department from 1960 until 1987, when he retired to become a full-time writer. He retains the title of Honorary Professor of Modern English Literature at Birmingham and continues to live in that city. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.Photograph Â© Arturo PattenMore About David Lodge