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This collection of prefaces, originally written for the 1909 multi-volume New York Edition of Henry Jamess fiction, first appeared in book form in 1934 with an introduction by poet and critic R. P. Blackmur. In his prefaces, James tackles the great problems of fiction writingcharacter, plot, point of view, inspirationand explains how he came to write novels such as The Portrait of a Lady and The American. As Blackmur puts it, criticism has never been more ambitious, nor more useful.
The latest edition of this influential work includes a foreword by bestselling author Colm Tibn, whose critically acclaimed novel The Master is told from the point of view of Henry James. As a guide not only to Jamess inspiration and execution, but also to his frustrations and triumphs, this volume will be valuable both to students of Jamess fiction and to aspiring writers.