James Joyce 

Nicholas Leither


Dede Leither



In these fifteen short stories, James Joyce captures the intricate spirit of those living in Dublin in the 20th century with heartbreaking beauty, honesty, and literary elegance. Dubliners is a truly unique investigation of the human condition, and a masterpiece of the fiction writer's craft.


The craft examinations following each story carefully guide readers and writers through Joyce's masterwork, leaving them with a deep and complex understanding of the fundamentals of writing fiction.

By focusing on the work of James Joyce, this illustrated and annotated edition offers something that other craft guides do not: an in-depth exploration of one writer's art. The detailed examples, illustrations, and investigations will transform readers and writers into expert examiners of fiction, whether it is Pride and Prejudice or their own work.


"Leither carefully takes us on a writer's journey through this classic set of short stories, teaching us the elements of writing craft."

  -Chuck Densinger

"As a writer, as a composition teacher, and as an aspiring creative writing teacher, this book was incredibly enlightening and useful."

    -Rosa del Duca


If you're an instructor and are interested in obtaining a free copy of DUBLINERS: WITH A GUIDE TO THE CRAFT OF FICTION, please provide:

1. Your full name.

2. The institution at which you teach, and the level.

3. A link to your website and/or faculty page (if possible).

4. Your telephone number.

NOTE: Hardcopy requests are sent only on a case-by-case basis, and depend on availability.  If a free hardcopy is not possible, discounts are always available.  Most free review copies are in PDF and are sent to you electronically.    

Send requests to Nicholas Leither: nleither@scu.edu


TEXT SAMPLE: "How to Read this Book"

As an edition of James Joyce’s Dubliners, this contains all the stories in the intended order with brief annotations that define primarily outdated language.  I have arranged this book with great care, observation, scholarship, and integrity to the ideas in the fiction.  While I did insert quotation marks around dialogue where Joyce originally used dashes, I have kept all spellings and punctuation unchanged (for example, Mr. and Mrs. appear Mr and Mrs).

As a guide to the craft of fiction, this edition leads readers through Joyce’s fifteen stories, defining and exemplifying the fundamental techniques of the fiction writer’s craft. 

For readers this text illuminates the core elements that go into crafting fiction, and presents a text that has inspired a plethora of writers ever since its publication.  It is the starting point for literary interpretation and criticism, and will, I hope, give readers a better idea of what goes into “building” a narrative. 

For writers this text unpacks the literary craft Joyce employed to create Dubliners, and will aid in examining fictional texts and creating and assessing their own writing.

At the end of every story, readers will find explanations of several carefully chosen craft elements.  By no means should readers understand this as a complete craft analysis of each story.  Instead, over the course of all fifteen stories, I have defined and offered examples for the fundamental craft principles of fiction.  These principles, for the most part, progress from basic to more complex, choosing elements like point of view and symbolism in early stories and chiasmus, verisimilitude and point of view inflection in later stories. 

Following the analyses, several discussion questions build off the defined craft principles for further thought, investigation, and discussion.  Therefore, this analysis starts the conversation about craft; it doesn’t end it.  It is meant to focus the microscope in an attempt to invite readers and writers to explore further.

The back pages of this book contain an indexed glossary that define all the craft terms I cover in this book and direct readers to the pages in which I discuss those craft elements.   Craft terms that appear in bold can be found in the glossary.

Illustration Samples

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Illustration by Dede Leither

Illustration by Dede Leither