James Joyce’s first novel, hailed as one of the greatest works of the twentieth century, about a young Irishman’s growth into artistic adulthood
A semiautobiographical story mirroring Joyce’s own coming of age, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man begins when Stephen Dedalus is still a young boy. Living with his family in Dublin, Stephen’s first brush with the larger world occurs at boarding school, an unhappy time that he is eager to leave behind. Once home, however, life takes on a somber new tone as his father descends into alcoholism and his family’s finances dwindle. Joyce details young Stephen’s encounters with the Catholic Church, Irish politics, sexual experimentation, and coming-of-age in the twentieth century.
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James Joyce (1882–1941) was an Irish poet, novelist, and short story author and one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. His best-known works include Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artistas a Young Man, Finnegans Wake, and Ulysses, which is widely considered to be the greatest novel in the English language.