Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practice by literature's greatest writers. In The Art of the Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time. Often cited as the best work of short fiction ever written, Joyce's elegant story details a New Year's Eve gathering in Dublin that is so evocative and beautiful that it prompts the protagonist's wife to make a shocking revelation to her husband -- closing the story with an emotionally powerful epiphany that is unsurpassed in modern literature.
Daniel R. Schwarz is Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English Literature and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell University, where he has taught since 1968. He is the author of the recent In Defense of Reading: Teaching Literature in the Twenty-First Century (2008) in the prestigious Blackwell Manifesto series, Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel, 1890-1930 (2004), Broadway Boogie Woogie: Damon Runyon and the Making of New York City Culture (2003), as well as the widely read Imagining the Holocaust (1999). His prior books include Rereading Conrad (2001); Reconfiguring Modernism: Explorations in the Relationship Between Modern Art and Modern Literature (1997); Narrative and Representation in Wallace Stevens (1993), a Choice selection for best academic book of 1993; The Case for a Humanistic Poetics (1991); The Transformation of the English Novel, 1890-1930 (1989; revised 1995); Reading Joyce's "Ulysses" (Second Edition, 2004); The Humanistic Heritage: Critical Theories of the English Novel from James to Hillis Miller (1986); Conrad: The Later Fiction (1982); Conrad: "Almayer's Folly" through "Under Western Eyes" (1980); and Disraeli's Fiction (1979). He has edited Joyce's The Dead (1994) and Conrad's The Secret Sharer (1997) in the Bedford Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism Series, and was coeditor of Narrative and Culture (1994). He has also edited the Penguin Damon Runyon (2008). He served as consulting editor of the six-volume edition of The Early Novels of Benjamin Disraeli (2004) for which he wrote the General Introduction. He is General Editor of the multivolume critical series Reading the Novel for which he wrote Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel, 1890-1930 (2004) and is now writing Reading the European Novel. A founding member and former president of the society for the Study of Narrative Literature, he has published dozens of scholarly articles on British and American fiction and literary theory. Among his books are studies on Disraeli and Conrad as well as Reading Joyce's ULYSSES; The Transformation of the English Novel, 1890-1930; and The Case for a Humanistic Poetics.