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Portrait of the Artist, as an Old Man

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Imagine that the novelist — his name here is Eugene Pota — realizes that the days are dwindling and he needs to come up with one more novel. But what should he write? That first novel, the one that launched him, the one that made him into the cultural icon he seems fated to remain, has become a touchstone for his life, and his life since has pretty much been a critical failure. And now, when he is faced with the compulsion to write one more novel, to take a stab at the even bigger one, what should it be?

Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man follows the journey that Eugene Pota undertakes as he sifts through the detritus of his life in an effort to settle on a subject for his final work. He talks to everyone, including his wife, his old lovers, and his editor. While everyone has ideas, no one offers any real answers. Written with sections that alternate between Pota's real-life efforts to settle on what novel to write and his many and various false starts writing that novel, Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man is a rare and enthralling look into the artist's search for creativity.

Review:

"Warmly engrossing." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"A fascinating look at the creative life of one of the most important writers of American postwar literature." Steven Moore, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"A novel of dramatic candor and courage...very entertaining." Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun

Review:

"[Heller's] impish pleasure in satirizing himself and literary ambition reveals not sorrow and dissatisfaction but delight in the joys of both writing and life." Donna Seaman, Booklist

Review:

"[A] moderate success....As you read this book, you might imagine Heller laughing his way hugely through it....[I]n some ways this book is...a posthumous piece of caustic self-parody. But it is also...one last muted hurrah from a writer who knows his place in the authorial Hall of Fame was never really in doubt." Tim Adams, The Guardian (U.K.)

About the Author

Joseph Heller was born in Brooklyn in 1923. In 1961, he published Catch-22, which became a bestseller and, in 1970, a film. He went on to write such novels as Good as Gold, God Knows, Picture This, Closing Time (the sequel to Catch-22), and Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man. Heller died in December 1999.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743202015
Author:
Heller, Joseph L.
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Author:
Heller, Joseph L.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Authorship
Subject:
Aged men
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Fame
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
July 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in 8.12 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Portrait of the Artist, as an Old Man Used Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743202015 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Warmly engrossing."
"Review" by , "A fascinating look at the creative life of one of the most important writers of American postwar literature."
"Review" by , "A novel of dramatic candor and courage...very entertaining."
"Review" by , "[Heller's] impish pleasure in satirizing himself and literary ambition reveals not sorrow and dissatisfaction but delight in the joys of both writing and life."
"Review" by , "[A] moderate success....As you read this book, you might imagine Heller laughing his way hugely through it....[I]n some ways this book is...a posthumous piece of caustic self-parody. But it is also...one last muted hurrah from a writer who knows his place in the authorial Hall of Fame was never really in doubt."
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