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J. G. Farrell

Biography

J. G. Farrell was born in Liverpool in 1935. After the War, the family moved to Dublin (his mother was Irish), though Farrell himself went to boarding school in England. He then went to Oxford University to study law but was found to have polio and was seriously ill. Though he recovered from the illness, he never fully recovered his strength. When he returned to university he took up modern languages and, on graduation, started teaching in France. At this time, he started writing, his gloomy novels clearly influenced by his illness and the results of the illness.

On a visit to the United States on a Harkness Fellowship, he visited the ruins of the Ocean View Hotel in Block Island, Rhode Island and this inspired him to write Troubles about the Irish Civil War, set partially in an old ruined hotel in Ireland. This novel was the first in his demise of the British Empire novels. Two subsequent novels dealt with India and Singapore. He has subsequently proved to be an influence on the later post-colonial novels that started appearing in the 1980s. In 1979 he was working on another novel set in India, when he was drowned while fishing near a cottage he had bought in Bantry Bay, Ireland.

Books about J. G. Farrell

Lavinia Greacen: J G Farrell: the Making of a Writer (standard biography)
John McLeod: J. G. Farrell,

Other links

J. G. Farrell
J. G. Farrell
J.G. Farrell’s eyewitness account of his death is published
A literary gypsy

Bibliography

1963 A Man from Elsewhere
1965 The Lung
1967 A Girl in the Head
1970 Troubles
1973 The Siege of Krishnapur
1978 The Singapore Grip
1981 The Hill Station and An Indian Diary
2010 J.G. Farrell in his Own Words: Selected Letters and Diaries