James Joyces first and most widely read novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the noteworthy story of Stephen Dedalus, a young man struggling to decide between a religious vocation and an artistic one. As the story unfolds, we begin to witness Stephens metaphoric change, from a confused, fraught young man to an individual who, through his trials, is given the chance to test his faith as a member of those who seek the truth. James Joyces A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is medical school there, but he soon gave up attending lectures and devoted himself to writing poems and prose sketches, and formulating an aesthetic system.
Recalled to Dublin in April 1903 because of the fatal illness of his mother, he circled slowly towards his literary career. During the summer of 1904 he met a young woman from Galway, Nora Barnacle, and persuaded her to go with him to the Continent, where he planned to teach English. The young couple spent a few months in Pola (now in Yugoslavia), then in 1905 moved to Trieste, where, except for seven months in Rome and three trips to Dublin, they lived until June 1915.
They had two children, a son and a daughter. His first book, the poems of Chamber Music, was published in London in 1907, and Dubliners, a book of stories, in 1914. Italys entrance into the First World War obliged Joyce to move to Zürich, where he remained until 1919.
During this period he published A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Exiles, a play (1918). After a brief return to Trieste following the armistice, Joyce determined to move to Paris so as to arrange more easily for the publication of Ulysses, a book which he had been working on since 1914. It was, in fact, published on his birthday in Paris, in 1922, and brought him international fame.
The same year he began work on Finnegans Wake, and though much harassed by eye troubles, and deeply affected by his daughters mental illness, he completed and published that book in 1939. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he went to live in Unoccupied France, then managed to secure permission in December 1940 to return to Zürich. Joyce died there six weeks later, on 13 January 1941, and was buried in the Fluntern Cemetery.
Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).