From Library Journal
Described in the author's foreword as "a swift gallop over familiar territory," this lavishly illustrated biography is a triumph of the picture editor's craft, reproducing all the major photos of Joyce as well as unusual background illustrations to his life and times. McCourt (literature, Univ. of Trieste) recently published James Joyce: Years of Bloom, an in-depth study of Joyce's years in Trieste (1904-20), and this work is, in some ways, a companion piece, focusing on exile as the central motif of Joyce's life. One may quibble about the targeted audience, as McCourt admits to being "hugely dependent on all the previous biographies." There are also no source notes. Nevertheless, this is a wonderfully concise yet erudite introduction to a writer who often seems walled off by scholarly apparatus. A beautiful work at a reasonable price; for general and specialized collections. Shelley Cox, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
There are more substantial biographies of the great Irish modernist, but with its combination of text and illustrations, this book makes a distinctive contribution to Joyceana. Like Joyce, McCourt hails from Dublin and lives in Trieste, where he directs the annual Joyce School. He offers a vivid sense of the places that inspired and are reflected in Ulysses
Wake. Place was, McCourt argues, hardly incidental for Joyce, nor was Joyce only writing of Ireland. The unnamed and unacknowledged polyglot streets of Trieste, with its Canal Grande, are as much part of the master's work as Dublin by the Liffey. Historical photos and reproductions of paintings of the era bring alive the well-known journey of the exile who famously never stopped writing about home. Patricia MonaghanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved