Coilin Owens's James Joyce's Painful Case is one of the more intellectually capacious, wide-ranging studies on Joyce and his work to emerge in some time. Owen's book is among the finest studies of Dubliners ever written as well as among the best--most provocative, revealing, and useful--critical works on Joyce to be published in some time.
While Owens has captured the breadth of subjects that a casebook would offer, he balances his readings with a great deal of focused and specific close reading, reminiscent of the work of the late Father Boyle. An excellent companion for reading 'A Painful Case' and would be essential reading for anyone engaging in an in-depth study of Dubliners.
--James Joyce Literary Supplement
An eminently insightful and informative study of a single story, as well as a profound exploration of Joyce's position within his own historical moment and its most urgent philosophical and religious questions.
--James Joyce Quarterly
Inspires awe, admiration, and wonder. . . . Owens succeeds admirably in reaching his expressed goal of historicizing the story, reconstructing its conception and genesis, and providing 'a series of tandem rereadings' of texts--religious, literary, musical, philosophical--that would have been Joyce's purview during the gestation and birth of 'A Painful Case.' There is something new for every Joyce student and scholar to learn from Owens's thorough research.
--English Literature in Transition