Author: James Joyce
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.