This title introduces the work of James Joyce, the literary, historical and political contexts in which he wrote and his critical reception up to the present day. James Joyce stands at the forefront of modernism - a writer whose work has gained a unique status in modern Western culture. This book offers an introduction to reading and studying Joycean texts and surveys the key contexts - literary, historical, political, philosophical and compositional - which shaped and determined them. By identifying and engaging with Joyce's writing methods and style, this book opens up strategies and approaches for reading his complex texts. It also introduces the critical reception of Joyce and his work, from the early structuralist and 'myth' critics, through deconstruction, to recent developments including historical criticism and genetic criticism.