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Portrait of an author

New stamp honors Henry James

The Henry James stamp
The Henry James stamp

Henry James, the towering writer known for exploring the complex interplay between Americans and Europeans, has become the latest honoree in the USPS Literary Arts stamp series.

The nondenominated 89-cent stamp, issued July 31, is good for mail up to 3 ounces. It features a portrait of James set against an illustration of the climactic scene from his 1903 novel “The Ambassadors.”

Among other notable works by James (1843–1916) are the novels “The American,” “The Portrait of a Lady,” “The Wings of the Dove” and “Washington Square,” as well as the landmark ghost-themed novella “The Turn of the Screw.”

A key figure of the 19th-century literary realism movement, James drew in readers with his accounts of passionate friendships, love affairs and unhappy marriages. He also stood out for his thoughtful portrayals of women — especially strong, self-determined heroines.

His prodigious literary output ultimately included 20 complete novels, more than 100 shorter pieces of fiction, several plays and hundreds of shorter works and articles.

Since its launch in 1979 with the John Steinbeck stamp, the Literary Arts series has featured 31 writers, including Flannery O’Connor, last year’s honoree.

The James stamp is available at Post Offices and

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