Proust fans will love the insights Mary Ann Caws' brief Marcel Proust imparts. Readers learn of his unorthodox dress, his platonic (women) and passionate (men) relationships, and his skewed sleep schedule.
Then readers are introduced to his myriad character influences -- Sandra Bernhardt, Carpaccio, Proustís grandmother, and Proustís longtime love Reynaldo Hahn, to name a few. We read the expected -- his borderline oedipal relationship with his mother -- and the unexpected, such as the personal bravery he demonstrated in a duel.
The portrait that emerges is of a mercurial artist who brilliantly expressed his talents by interpreting his observations of life until he inexplicably withdrew from those same observations. Bottom line: if you like Proust, read this book.