The novel that reinvented fiction
Michael Gorra has invented a new literary form, one for which there is no name as yet. His book is a critical study of Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady, based on a lovingly close reading of this pivotal masterwork, as well as a subtly nuanced mini-biography of the author. At another level, though, it is a kind of re-creation of the novel, a reimagining of it – a re-presentation of it – that uncovers the secret springs of the work even as it celebrates the intricate and exquisite artistry of its multifaceted surface. For readers already familiar with The Portrait, this study will throw a wholly new light upon what had seemed well-known territory, while those who have not read James’s book will be bound to fall upon it with unbounded anticipation. With Gorra as guide, they will not be disappointed.