Almost 60 years ago, James Patrick Donleavy published what is now regarded as both a cult and classic Irish novel, in The Ginger Man.
It was the beginning of a long life as a writer, and his work includes Fairy Tales of New York, The Onion Eaters, The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B and The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms. The Book Show went to visit him at Levington - his house just outside Mullingar - where he discussed his love of boxing, friendship with Brendan Behan and his long career as a writer.
Want to read more Donleavy:
The Ginger Man (Novel) Olympia Press, Paris 1955
Fairy Tales of New York (Play), Penguin, UK 1961 | Random House, New York 1961
A Singular Man (Novel) Atlantic-Little, Brown, Boston 1963
Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule (Stories & Sketches) Atlantic-Little, Brown, Boston 1964
A Singular Man (Play) The Bodley Head, UK 1965
The Saddest Summer of Samuel S (Novella) Delacorte Press, New York 1966
The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (Novel) Delacorte Press, New York 1968
The Onion Eaters (Novel) Delacorte Press, New York 1971
The Plays of JP Donleavy Delacorte Press, New York 1972
A Fairy Tale of New York (Novel) Delacorte Press, New York 1973
J.P. Donleavy: The Plays Penguin, UK 1974
The Unexpurgated Code... (Nonfiction) Delacorte Press, New York 1975
The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (Novel) Franklin Library, Franklin Center, PA 1977
Schultz (Novel) Delacorte Press, New York 1979
Leila (Novel) Franklin Library, Franklin Center, Pennsylvania 1983
De Alfonce Tennis... (a Legend) Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1984
J.P. Donleavy's Ireland... (Nonfiction) Viking, NY, 1986 | Michael Joseph, London 1986
Are You Listening Rabbi Löw (Novel) Viking, London 1987
A Singular Country (Nonfiction) Peterborough - Ryan, UK 1989
That Darcy, That Dancer, That Gentleman (Novel) Viking, London 1990
The History of the Ginger Man (Nonfiction) Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1994 | Viking, London 1994
The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms (Novella) Thornwillow Press, US 1995
An Author and His Image (Collected Short Pieces-Nonfiction) Viking, London 1997
Wrong Information is Being Given Out at Princeton (Novel) Thomas Dunn-St. Martins Press, New York| Viking, London 1998
All of the above list comes from the excellent website on Donleavy and his work:
Danielle Steele or Chekov? We talk to the authors of a new book which claims that reading literary over commercial fiction can actually make you smarter and improve our sense of empathy. Writer and broadcaster and avid reader Manchan Magan and Dan Hurley the author of Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power join Sinead to discuss the benefits of reading.
Readers: Elva Trill and Zbyszek Zalinski
Guest: Emanuele Castanos – You can find out more about his scientific study into reading here:
And Regan Hutchins finds out about Virginia Andrews' Ghost Writer in this week’s footnote.
The Book Show, presented by Sinead Gleeson, is where we get to know a bit more about the books you love and talk about what you could be reading over the next few months.
Writers and publishers will talk stories, books and the world of writing and we’ll have readings, reports and regular items. The Book Show will bring you the best in international and Irish authors, with weekly discussions, interviews, features and literary trivia.
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Sinead Gleeson Photo credit: Annie Atkins