A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

by James Joyce

In Brief

Joyce’s semi-autobiographical bildungsroman follows Stephen Dedalus from childhood and a harsh Jesuit school, via lustful discovery and Catholic guilt in the brothels of Dublin, to self-imposed exile as the artist frees himself to pursue his true calling.

Why you should read it

The Modern Library called it the third greatest English-language novel of the 20th Century. This tale of awakening, underpinned by intellectual, cultural and religious rebellion, has been hugely influential in its own right, and sets the scene for Joyce’s subsequent literary bombshell, Ulysses.

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