50 Books To Read Before You Die

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Author: James Joyce
Released: 1914
Genre: Coming-of-age drama

To write A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, supreme Irish novelist James Joyce pulled from his own life experiences to craft a deeply textured look at Stephen Dedalus, an incessantly fascinating character. Born into a devoutly Catholic family, Stephen, as he enters the stages of adulthood, begins to question his parents' beloved religion, and Joyce's prose and signature employment of the third-person voice provide an observational and non-intrusive point-of-view for every leap of self-imposed faith Stephen takes.

Fun Fact: Joyce's first draft of the novel was titled Stephen Hero, and featured several inconsequential Portrait characters in much larger roles. Stephen Hero was released in 1944, three years after Joyce's death.

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