Praise for James Joyce: A Life
“Swift, moving and brimming with the author’s enthusiasms.”
—The Los Angeles Times Book Review
“O’Brien’s triumph is that while celebrating Joyce and his ecstatic quest to lay image on counterimage… she has drawn the desperation and sadness of
the man whose name means joy.”
—The New York Times Book Review
In JAMES JOYCE, O’Brien chronicles the author’s early days as the rambunctious Jesuit school student, one of ten children, through his flight to Europe and the success, love and despair he would experience there, to his final, frustrated days as “a poor old man in a long overcoat, an eyepatch and a stick, stones in his pocket to keep off marauding dogs.”
Praise for Charles Dickens: A Life
“A lucid account. Jane Smiley has enhanced our understanding of the work.”
“An excellent example of history through modern eyes.”
In CHARLES DICKENS: A Life, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jane Smiley creates both a sensitive portrait of the celebrated novelist and a fascinating meditation on the writing life as only a fellow novelist can.
CHARLES DICKENS explores the writer’s narrative techniques and illustrates his brilliant understanding of the craft: what draws readers and why. The author of fifteen novels, many of which were first serialized in newspapers, Dickens had a vibrant, public literary life and, as an enormously popular and successful writer, was one of the first people ever catapulted to “celebrity” status.