David Lodge Author, Author.
Viking, 389 pages, $24.95

Colm Tóibín The Master
Scribner, 352 pages, $25

In the acknowledgments to his nicely nuanced novel, David Lodge writes: “A few weeks after I delivered the completed Author, Author to my publishers in September 2003, I learned that Colm Tóibín had also written a novel about Henry James which would be published in the spring of 2004.” The “also” refers to Emma Tennant’s novel, Felony, subtitled The Private History of The Aspern Papers, which Lodge first became aware of in November 2002. So as not to be distracted or influenced by a work he gathered centered on James’s relationship with Constance Fenimore Woolson, Lodge decided not to read Felony or reviews about it while working on his own novel. He concludes his acknowledgments with the tantalizing line,...

 
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