The Awkward Age is a novel by Henry James, first published as a serial in Harper s Weekly in 1898-1899 and then as a book later in 1899. Originally conceived as a brief, light story about the complications created in her family s social set by a young girl coming of age, the novel expanded into a general treatment of decadence and corruption in English fin de siècle life. James presents the novel almost entirely in dialogue, an experiment that adds to the immediacy of the scenes but also creates serious ambiguities about characters and their motives. Many critics see the novel as parallel in theme and setting to James s earlier novel What Maisie Knew, with Nanda as a slightly older version of Maisie. Henry James, OM (Order of Merit) (1843-1916) was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He is best known for a number of novels showing Americans encountering Europe and Europeans. His method of writing from a character s point of view allowed him to explore issues related to consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators brought a new depth to narrative fiction. Henry James was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911, 1912, and 1916.