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Reading

House of Wits

Book Digest A family that includes William and Henry and Alice James is an obvious motherlode of story, information, and speculation—all that remains is for Paul Fisher to build a coherent, insightful narrative about these fascinating siblings. Asked what is new about his James family book, Fisher explains:
Until just a few years ago, it was hard to talk frankly about the most burning issues of the Jameses’ lives: mental illness, alcoholism, love, sex, homosexuality, money, the roles of women and men, and the pressures of professional and artistic success on personal lives. Sex was a major secret for the Jameses, and it’s something I talk about a lot: William’s sometimes long-distance but loving marriage; Henry’s “bachelorhood”; Alice’s amazing secret life in a same-sex “Boston marriage.”
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