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The Master by Colm Toibin
The Master is Colm Toibin's fictional account of five years of Henry James's life when he moved from failure to a renowned fiction writer. The novel begins with the opening, and closing, of his play Guy Domville and James's escape to Ireland to hide from his humiliation. James then comes back to London, follows Oscar Wilde's trial, acquires his retreat in Rye, and falls in love with a young sculptor in Italy. More than just chronicling the events of these years in his life, Colm Toibin bring James to life, showing how the forces that shaped his life also shaped his writing. The Master has received high praise: "an audacious, profound, and wonderfully intelligent book" (The Guardian), "a taut, well-crafted, mesmerising novel" (The Independent), and "an absorbing and often intense novel (Sunday Business Post).