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Alice James: A Biography (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – November 1, 2011
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—Stacy Schiff, The Wall Street Journal
“Engrossing, disquieting … Stunning, this book is haunting.”
—Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker
“Jean Strouse's biography of this infantilized, untimely, brilliant, radical, wasted, proud, hysterical woman does her complexity justice. Without didacticism or polemic, Strouse squarely confronts and explores the broad issues of medical and intellectual history that Alice James' life raises so provocatively. Her book is searching and scholarly, fascinating and sound. It is as good a history of Judith Shakespeare as we'll ever have, and its complex lessons, for both men and women, transcend intellectual history and touch life at its moral core.”—The Boston Globe
“Miss Strouse, in acquainting us with the younger sister of William and Henry James, has, as it were - and she is witty about Henry's ''ineluctable 'as it weres' - written a Jamesian novel, subtle, evasive, embroidered, splendid.... Miss Strouse, who weaves instead of hammering home her delicate points is as expert in literary criticism as she is in recreating family life, medicine, psychology and education in 19th-century America. —John Leonard, The New York Times
“This is an important book for those interested in women’s history, in literary biography and for those who want to gain insight into the inner workings of human beings.”—The Christian Science Monitor
About the Author
Colm Tóibín is the author of six novels, including The Master (a novel based on the life of Henry James) and Brooklyn, and two collections of stories, Mothers and Sons and The Empty Family. He has been a visiting writer at Stanford, the University of Texas at Austin, and Princeton, and is now Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.
Top Customer Reviews
When her diaries were published after her death Alice was celebrated as a talented writer but she was not one of the new female novelists. Alice was never expected, encouraged or often even allowed to do much of anything at all. During this era there seemed to be an epidemic of women suffering "nervous disorders", and their number included Alice, because in spite of her excellent mind for much of her life she had no real work to do. Her father, Henry James Sr., was wild and unmanageable in his youth, rebelling against his strict religious father, and he was generally forward thinking as an adult, providing a rich environment for his children that helped nourish his oldest sons' abilities, but there was a dichotomy in his thinking because he could only be so progressive based on his upbringing and the age he lived in.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was the most impenetrable book I have read in a long time, maybe forever. I noticed first of all that Alice James barely appear at all in the book until the first third. Read morePublished 17 months ago by C. Still
The 2011 preface only adds 3 or 4 pages at the front of the book. I would like people to read in an attempt to change their outlook on today, so I consider this book in connections... Read morePublished on March 19, 2012 by snap shot hex