Cover image for James Joyce
James Joyce
O'Brien, Edna.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 179 pages ; 20 cm.
General Note:
"A Lipper/Viking book."
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6019.O9 Z766 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PR6019.O9 Z766 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PR6019.O9 Z766 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PR6019.O9 Z766 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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With the majestic storytelling that have made her one of Ireland's preeminent writers, novelist Edna O'Brien paints a passionate, personal, and sensuous portrait of James Joyce, the great literary master.

Author Notes

Writer Edna O'Brien was born in Clare County, Ireland, in 1930 and attended Pharmaceutical College in Dublin.

O'Brien, winner of the Kingsley Amis Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Price and the European Literature Prize, has written short stories, novels, plays, television plays and screenplays. She has also written for such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal and The New Yorker.

(Bowker Author Biography) Edna O'Brien's previous works of fiction include "Down by the River", "House of Splendid Isolation", "Time & Tide", & "Lantern Slides", which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction. Her book about James Joyce was published in 1999 & excerpted in "The New Yorker". An honorary member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters, O'Brien grew up in Ireland & now lives in London.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Viking/Lipper's Penguin Lives series continues to make creative matches, here offering Ireland's best current novelist an opportunity to rediscover the greatest (and most notorious) Irish novelist of the century. O'Brien relished the assignment, discovering that Joyce, whom she "excessive[ly] love[d]" in youth, was as fascinating, troubling, and involving as ever. Like the other Penguin Lives, O'Brien's biography is Joyce without footnotes and other academic impedimenta: she tells the story of the aspiring young writer and his downwardly mobile family, his escape to Europe, the constant struggle to scrape together enough money to live on, and finally his relative comfort, thanks to patrons, once Ulysses was published. She also provides thoughtful appreciations of Joyce's major works. Those who want to wallow in Joyce's life will still need to turn to Ellman (the first "in order of author preference" in O'Brien's bibliography), but this new, shorter biography of Ireland's self-exiled bard should tempt at least some readers to explore the many other volumes of Joyceana on library shelves. --Mary Carroll

Library Journal Review

As in the other volumes from this series, O'Brien's version of Joyce's life is but a sketch, evocative and at times even poetic but only an introduction. While she mostly succeeds in capturing the emotional state of this most Irish and contradictory man, using his fictional characters to understand their author is a weak point. Joyce was neither Stephen Dedalus nor Leopold Bloom nor Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, and confusing some of their exploits with his life is misleadingÄfactually and emotionally. Still, this volume, some of which has previously appeared in O'Brien's James and Nora: Portrait of Joyce's Marriage, is a good start for anyone who can't face the 800-page biographies but wants to know the essence of the man and his works. For public and academic libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/99.]ÄShelley Cox, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Once Upon a Timep. 1
Jesuitsp. 5
Inkpotsp. 9
Rebellionp. 15
Orphansp. 23
Revelsp. 31
Norap. 35
Exilesp. 43
Manifestop. 53
Betrayalp. 63
Bucketsp. 69
Obstaclesp. 77
Dalliancep. 85
Ulyssesp. 93
Sirensp. 109
Miss Beachp. 119
Famep. 123
Miss Weaverp. 133