''The Portrait of a Lady" was the first true success for Henry James; with it he established his literary reputation. Today it is recognized as one of the great American novels, the link, as author Michael Gorra states, "between George Eliot and Virginia Woolf." As such, the book continues to sell 25,000 copies a year.
Philip McFarland's book "Mark Twain and the Colonel" is a hybrid biography of two of the most colorful figures of their era and a fascinating look at America at the beginning of the 20th century.
Most Washingtonians are familiar with the bronze statue commonly titled "Grief" that resides in Rock Creek Cemetery. The shrouded figure, by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, marks the grave of Marian Hooper Clover Adams, wife of celebrated historian Henry Adams. Not so familiar is the story behind it.
''Greeneland" describes both the seedy locales where Graham Greene set many of his novels and the state of mind of many of his heroes: doubting, undeceived,living in foreign places in an eternal maybe.
A serious biography of Eleanor Medill "Cissy" Patterson was long overdue. During the 1940s, she was part of the "royal family of American journalism." A descandent of abolitionistJoseph Medill, owner of the Chicago Tribune, sister of Joe Medill Patterson of the New York Daily News and cousin to Col. Robert R. McCormick of the Chicago Tribune, she outshone them all with her flamboyance, grit and intelligence.
As an undergraduate at Brown University, Jeffrey Eugenides never imagined he would be living like this.
Two writers who, in effect, knew Phyllis Schlafly before she came on the scene were Alexis de Tocqueville and Henry James.
Harold Bloom may not be Cynthia Ozick's favorite literary critic - she famously attacked him for idolatry - but she is a fascinating case study in his pet theory, the "anxiety of influence" by the "covering cherub" of a major writer, in her case Henry James.
Novelists pose themselves problems when they choose a main character of the opposite sex to their own, and in "The Other Side of You" Salley Vickers may not have surmounted them had she not concentrated so much on the intellect rather than social life of Davey McBride, the psychiatrist at the center of her tale. He specializes in suicidal patients, explaining, "The denizens of that hinterland where life and death are sister and brother, the suicidally disposed . . . beckoned. Like is drawn to like."