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J. P. Donleavy


J(ames). P(atrick). Donleavy was born in Brooklyn in 1926. He shares a birthday with Shakespeare and Nabokov. His parents had both immigrated from Ireland. His father was a fireman. He was expelled from Fordham Prep and then joined the Navy Reserve in 1944, where he trained as a radar operator. After the war, he went to Dublin to study at Trinity College, Dublin on the GI Bill, like Sebastian Dangerfield in The Ginger Man. He initially considered becoming a painter but then wrote The Ginger Man. He was rejected by thirty-five American and British publishers, because of the obscenity, before being recommended Olympia Press by Brendan Behan. The unexpurgated publication of the book brought him some notoriety and also led to a dispute between Donleavy and the Olympia Press, much of which is described in his 1994 book The History of the Ginger Man. An unexpurgated edition was not published in the United States till 1965. Donleavy went on to publish many more novels often about heroes adrift in the world and looking for but all too often not finding love. He also adapted some of his novels for the stage. He lived in Ireland since and became an Irish citizen. He died in 2017.

Other links

J. P. Donleavy
Profile: James Patrick Donleavy
J. P. Donleavy Approaches 80, Anything but Gingerly


1955 The Ginger Man (novel)
1961 The Ginger Man (UK: What They Did in Dublin with The Ginger Man) (drama)
1961 A Fairy Tale of New York (drama)
1963 A Singular Man (novel)
1964 A Singular Man (drama)
1964 Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule (short stories)
1966 The Saddest Summer of Samuel S (novella)
1968 The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (novel)
1971 The Onion Eaters (novel)
1972 The Plays of J. P. Donleavy (drama)
1973 A Fairy Tale of New York (novel)
1975 The Unexpurgated Code: A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners
1977 The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (novel)
1979 Schultz (novel)
1979 Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule and The Saddest Summer of Samuel.
1983 Leila: Further in the Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (novel)
1984 De Alfonce Tennis: The Superlative Game of Eccentric Champions, Its History, Accoutrements, Rules, Conduct, and Regimen
1986 J. P. Donleavy’s Ireland: In All Her Sins and in Some of Her Graces
1987 Are You Listening, Rabbi Loew? (novel)
1989 A Singular Country
1990 That Darcy, That Dancer, That Gentleman (novel)
1994 The History of the Ginger Man
1997 The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms: The Chronicle of One of the Strangest Stories Ever to Be Rumored About Around New York (novella)
1997 An Author and His Image: The Collected Shorter Pieces
1998 Wrong Information Is Being Given Out at Princeton (novel)
2018 A Letter Marked Personal (novel)