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Writers & Company: A portrait of Henry James

The Story

Henry James's novels The Wings of the Dove, The Portrait of a Lady and Washington Square have long given readers plenty to chew on. Now a cluster of films based on those books are giving James fans more to discuss. In this 1998 panel from CBC Radio's Writers and Company, writer Susan Griffin notes that James is a visual novelist whose melodramatic plots lend themselves well to film. Novelist Cynthia Ozick and James biographer Sheldon Novick round out the panel.

Medium: Radio
Program: Writers & Company
Broadcast Date: March 29, 1998
Guest(s): Susan Griffin, Sheldon Novick, Cynthia Ozick
Host: Eleanor Wachtel
Duration: 48:03
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.
Movie scene, Portrait of a Lady, PolyGram Entertainment

Did You know?

• In 2005 the Threepenny Review, a literary magazine, published Cynthia Ozick's An (Unfortunate) Interview with Henry James, a humorous piece in which she imagines a visit with the author. In it, she accuses James of having been "singularly merciless to [his] biographers" by making a bonfire of letters from friends and admirers in 1909. When she quotes from letters he's written as possible proof that he's gay (a subject of much debate), he responds: "I deeply, deeply, infinitely favour the universalization of epistolary arson."


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