Henry James: A Very Short Introduction

Henry James: A Very Short Introduction

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An elegant introduction to one of America's most complex and influential writers.

From his childhood in a family of leading American intellectuals through his mature life as a major American man of letters, Henry James (1843-1916) created a unique body of fiction that represents one of the greatest achievements in the nation's literary history. James's transnational life in the
US and England and his extraordinary siblings (the philosopher William James and diarist Alice James) made his life as complicated as the fictions he produced. In this elegant introduction to the work of Henry James, Susan L. Mizruchi places the notoriously difficult and obscure writings in their
historical and biographical context.

As James grew in confidence as a writer, his fictions evolved accordingly. These complex accounts of human experience engage with the vital issues of both James's era and our own. Among the works treated in this introduction are Washington Square, The Europeans, Daisy Miller, The Portrait of a Lady,
The Golden Bowl, and The Turn of the Screw. Through his novels, as well as his journalistic and critical endeavors, James explores themes related to gender relations, human sexuality, the nature of modernity, the threat of relativism, the rise of mass culture, and the role of art.

Since their creation, James's writings have been a consistent subject of both literary theory and popular culture, receiving a diverse array of theoretical treatments, from formalism, deconstruction, phenomenology, and pragmatism to Marxism, new historicism, and gender and queer theory. James's
novels have been adapted into numerous films by directors including William Wyler, Peter Bogdanovich, Michael Winner, Merchant/Ivory, and Jane Campion. The impact of Henry James cannot be overstated.


Author: Susan L. Mizruchi
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Published: 06/01/2021
Pages: 152
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.26lbs
Size: 6.69h x 4.33w x 0.47d
ISBN: 9780190944384

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 03/15/2021

About the Author

Susan L. Mizruchi, William Arrowsmith Professor in the Humanities, Boston University

Susan L. Mizruchi is William Arrowsmith Professor in the Humanities, Boston University and Director of the Boston University Center for the Humanities. Her previous books include Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age (2020) and Brando's Smile: His Life, Thought, and Work (2015).