New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590174531, 367pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Colm Toibin 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."
“From an isolated, eventless existence, Jean Strouse extracts something that did not exist for centuries: a woman’s interior life.”
—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