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The Master


“Colm Tóibín’s beautiful, subtle illumination of Henry James’s inner life” (The New York Times) captures the loneliness and hope of a master of psychological subtlety whose forays into intimacy inevitably fail those he tried to love.

Beautiful and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of Henry James, a man born into one of America’s first intellectual families who leaves his country in the late nineteenth century to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers. With stunningly resonant prose, “The Master is unquestionably the work of a first-rate novelist: artful, moving, and very beautiful” (The New York Times Book Review). The emotional intensity of this portrait is riveting.

“This is an audacious, profound, and wonderfully intelligent book.” —The Guardian (U.K.)

“Colm Tóibín’s magnificent novel is a moving meditation on solitude as the wellspring of beauty.” —Bernhard Schlink, author of The Reader

“[An] enthralling novel. . . . Tóibín displays—in a manner that is masterly—the wit and metaphorical flair, psychological subtlety and phrases of pouncing incisiveness with which a great novelist captured the nuances of consciousness and duplicities of society.” —Sunday Times (U.K.)

“To make a novel out of a writer’s life, and to have it turn out to be a genuine novel and not a disguised biography, is a strategic feat: Tóibín’s shy sly cadences and structural ingenuities are discreetly brilliant and always effective. His rendering of the first hints, or sensations, of the tales as they form in James’s thoughts is itself an instance of writer’s wizardry. This beautiful and perceptive novel will earn the rapt admiration of Jamesians and non-Jamesians alike.” —Cynthia Ozick

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