New Grub Street by George Gissing, Fiction (Paperback)
The story's two central characters are a sharply contrasted pair of writers: Edwin Reardon, a novelist of some talent but limited commercial prospects and a shy, cerebral man and Jasper Milvain, a young journalist, hard-working and capable of generosity, but cynical and only semi-scrupulous about writing and its purpose in the modern (i.e. late Victorian) world.
"The most impressive of Gissing's books . . . England has produced very few better novelists." -- George Orwell