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Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  253 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
In 1904, having known each other for only three months, a young woman named Nora Barnacle and a not yet famous writer named James Joyce left Ireland together for Europe -- unwed. So began a deep and complex partnership, and eventually a marriage, which endured for thirty-seven years.
This is the true story of Nora, the woman who, transformed by Joyce's imagination, became
Paperback, 512 pages
Published June 16th 2000 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1988)
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(showing 1-30 of 548)
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Ce Ce
Mar 14, 2015 Ce Ce rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I did not finish this book. I read to page 110. I stopped because I was plagued with what I now know...and could never UN-know...and needed to contemplate if I wanted to know any more.

What is the responsibility of a biographer? Where do you draw the line when revealing the personal?

Reading "Nora"...I do not know how one could not help but feel a moral qualm with being a voyeur of things no reasonable human being would want others to contemplate. Especially since this is Nora's bio...and she did
Abimelech Abimelech
In my year of studying Joyce this book wasn't mentioned once. I wouldn't go straight into this work after Ellmann, but it's also worth noting that Ellmann's biography of Joyce is considered by many the greatest literary biography of all time. While I'm always looking to break away from, or shed new light on the normal, I'm yet to read a literary biography which comes to close in impacting my personal and artistic life through such structure and erudition as the Ellmann book.
So this book is a cou
Nov 29, 2008 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any reader of Joyce.
Maddox's bio is generally well written and well organized with some flaws, but if you read it after reading Ellmann's biography of James you'll feel like Maddox's bio would be best reduced to a longish essay worked in as a single chapter in Ellmann's bio. Where the two biographies cover the same ground Maddox's bio seems shallow and lacking in detail: Maddox's bio is most useful for providing insight into Norah's early days (and yes, her name was spelled with an "h" back then...).
Terry Wheeler
Oct 11, 2015 Terry Wheeler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: joyce
This is the missing link from all those books about Joyce the genius. Here we meet the woman that allowed Joyce the environment where his genius could flourish. This is the book I would give to people who have never read Joyce and may think he is some foul nutter. Here they will find the portrait of an incredibly strong woman and the man who loved and was inspired by her.
Dona Krueger
I've heard so much about James Joyce's works, but have never read them. they sounded far too difficult to even try. This biography of his wife, Nora, filled in a great deal of just why I would never understand any of his works. Even Nora, his wife, found it impossible to read most of them. What an intense love and dependency they shared and what tragic lives their children lived - a great deal to do with their parents inadequate parenting. Nora was the strength that allowed Joyce to survive and ...more
Joy H.
Feb 20, 2014 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only  ·  review of another edition
Added 2/20/14.
Adapted to film. Watched film only.

I streamed "Nora" via Netflix. It's a film adaptation of the book: Nora: A Biography of Nora Joyce by Brenda Maddox.
It gives us a look into the personal life of James Joyce. Up to now, he's been just a name. But after watching the film, I feel I've learned a lot about him. The movie is very slow-paced but interesting because it's about James Joyce and his wife, Nora.
Jan 20, 2009 Clarissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't know much about James Joyce or his wife, Nora. But boy howdy do I ever after reading this book!
Doris Raines
Apr 14, 2016 Doris Raines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doris-shelf
Nice. Book. She. Did. It. Her. Way.
Aug 11, 2011 Albert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable biography of a truly remarkable life. The biographer has taken great pains to reconstruct a historically accurate account of Nora from years of correspondence and first hand accounts. This is no easy task as they seemed to have moved every year and were displaced by wars. She also does a good job reconciling this information with the mythology surrounding Joyce and the very memorable female characters in Joyce's fiction who persist as reflections of Nora.
Jan 26, 2008 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an exceptional biography and read. This woman,Nora Barnacle, a chambermaid from Dublin, had a huge influence on James Joyce the literary giant who was her husband. To understand Nora is to get a glimpse into his psyche. Her biographer, Brenda Maddox, is a first rate writer and reserarcher. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, but you may still be able to find it at the library, or as a used book on Amazon or Alibris.
Nina J. Kors
May 06, 2012 Nina J. Kors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memorabili
Lo sappiamo: le donne di grandi uomini erano grandi donne. Nora non lo era. Non era all'altezza di James Joyce. Non lo era per il livello di cultura, nè per l'eleganza che ci pioacerebbe pensare.
Nora Joyce viene qui raccontata come la donna per cui Joyce perse la testa e senza la quale non stava.
è una storia d'amore importante che dà luce a una donna sconosciuta.
Direi che lo dovrei rileggere.
Cynthia Anderson
Jun 05, 2015 Cynthia Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating woman. Nora Barnacle Joyce. Life with James Joyce, totally interesting.
Jan 20, 2010 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an outstanding read providing one is interested in James Joyce and the Irish in general. In this book Molly Bloom comes alive as Nora, the wife of James Joyce. A fascinating woman who lived beside Joyce and supported him in her own way. A side of James Joyce I had never read about came to light as well. It is a great read.
Sep 04, 2008 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I learned from this book that Nora did not have a very interesting life. But, the big thing that I learned was that - contrary to popular belief and regardless of the weak proof the book tried to convey - Nora had virtually no input/influence on Joyce at all. Case closed.
My book club read this book. It is long and detailed and not for the beach or a crowded plane, but it is well worth the time, especially if you like James Joyce and the turn century and bohemian time period. There is some Irish history also.
Mark Victor Young
Jan 14, 2013 Mark Victor Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of facts and dates, but also Maddox allowed the personalities to come through. Found this an engaging portrait of Nora and through her, a more intimate portrait of Joyce himself. Which I am sure was at least a little bit the point.
Jan Ellis
Jan 03, 2014 Jan Ellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
.Porque està en español? Anyway, great book.
Jun 08, 2009 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Makes me curious to see if I picked up any of Joyce's works again, would they be any easier for me to read...very interesting look at his wife and family life...
May 08, 2010 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent bio of James Joyce's wife and best friend---and a must-read for any fan of Joyce--if for no other reason than to learn of their utterly bizarre sex life. :)
Follow me to LibraryThing, where this review now lives. I'm not an unpaid content provider for Amazon any more! My account is public, look up CSRodgers.
Sep 16, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-group
I remember loving this book, but then I was already interested in all things Irish.
Nov 20, 2007 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joyceans.
Great insight into Joyce's family life and the woman who inspired him.
May 05, 2013 Rakisha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I'm pass my James Joyce phase. I will come back to this book though.
Lisa marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
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Karen rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2016
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Apr 19, 2016
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Apr 19, 2016
Simon Robs
Simon Robs marked it as to-read
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Brenda Maddox, Lady Maddox FRSL (born 24 Feb 1932) is an American author, journalist, and biographer, who has lived in the UK since 1959.

Born in Brockton, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, she graduated from Harvard University (class of 1953) with a degree in English literature and also studied at the London School of Economics. She is a book reviewer for The Observer, The Times, New Statesman, The New
More about Brenda Maddox...

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