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J.P. Donleavy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Ginger Man (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Singular Man (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Saddest Summer Of Samuel S (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Onion Eaters (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Fairy Tale of New York (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Schultz (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Leila (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Are You Listening, Rabbi Löw (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
That Darcy, That Dancer, That Gentleman (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wrong Information Is Being Given Out at Princeton (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Meet My Maker, the Mad Molecule (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Plays of J. P. Donleavy (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

The Ginger Man: A Play (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Singular Man: A Play (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Unexpurgated Code (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
De Alfonce Tennis (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
J.P.Donleavy's Ireland (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Singular Country (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The History Of The Ginger Man (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Author and His Image (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Olympia Reader: An Anthology of Erotic & Literary Classics(1965)Description / Buy at Amazon

J.P. Donleavy is a prominent author and playwright of the Irish-American descent. He is well known to write novels based on the literature & fiction genre and is particularly famous for writing the novel, The Ginger Man. Another famous book written by him is called A Fairytale of New York. This book helped to provide the titled for the popular song ‘Fairytale of New York’. Author Donleavy was born as James Patrick Donleavy on April 23, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York, United States. His parents were immigrants from Ireland. Donleavy completed his education by studying in a number of schools throughout the US. Later, he joined the US Navy and served for a brief period at the time of the Second World War. Author Donleavy shifted to Ireland after retiring from the Navy following the end of the war. In 1946, he enrolled himself at the Trinity College in Dublin and started pursuing graduation. However, he could not obtain his degree as he left the college in 1949, a little before the completion of the course. Seeing no other course path, author Donleavy decided to pursue writing and was published for the first time in the literary periodical of Dublin, called Envoy. Donleavy was able to achieve critical acclaim with his debut book called Ginger Man. This book went on to be included in the list of the 100 best books, prepared by the Modern Library. Due to the depiction and description of obscenity in the book, it was banned in US and Ireland. The main lead of the book, Sebastian Dangerfield, is partly based on author Donleavy’s companion from the Trinity College, Gainor Crist. He was a Navy veteran from America and studied in the college on the GI Bill.

Author Donleavy has described Gainor Crist in one of his interviews as a saint of the Rabelaisian type. A number of the initial works of author Donleavy are grouped with the artists of Kitchen Sink and Angry Young Men. Author Donleavy has resided in a country house called Levington Park, which has an area of 200 acres. This house is located near Mullingar, County Westmeath, and author Donleavy has been living here since 1972. When he was 14 years old, he declared himself to have turned atheist. Donleavy married a woman named Valerie Heron in the year 1946. The two had a couple of children named Karen and Philip. After their divorce in 1969, author Donleavy married for the second time in 1970 with Mary Wilson Price. This marriage also could not last for long and ended in 1989 with a divorce. Since then, Donleavy has lived a single life. Donleavy is regarded as one of the funniest American novelists. The bibliography of author Donleavy is considered replete with several wonders, including 11 books, 5 volumes of nonfiction, 4 plays, 2 novellas, and a short story collection. He also has an autobiography to his name. In a couple of his novels written later in his career, author Donleavy has written sagas consisting of rich boys described in dry wit, rich prose, humor, delicate sadness, and moist farce. He likes to write in the bright and hard modernist style that seems inimitable and indelible as that of James Joyce or Faulkner or Woolf. This proves that author Donleavy is inarguably a fully fledged novelist by all means.

The Ginger Man is J.P. Donleavy’s debut novel. It was self-published by the author for the first time in 1955 in Paris. Donleavy has set the story in Dublin, Ireland at the time of the post-war era in 1957. Immediately after its publication, the book opposed by many in the United States and Ireland of obscenity and was eventually banned in both these countries. Author Donleavy has mapped the sexual encounters in Dublin in 1940s in the form of the racy misadventures of the lead character named Sebastian Dangerfield. He is depicted as a law student studying at the Trinity College. Sebastian Dangerfield lives along with his English wife and little daughter in Dublin. It is believed that the character of Sebastian Dangerfield is a fictional version of Donleavy, or a mixture of himself and his contemporaries at the college. In 1988, the book was included among the top 100 books of the twentieth century. So far, it has sold more than 45 million copies all over the world and remains in print even to this day. It was reprinted in 2001 and was released again by the Glove Press in 2010. Author Donleavy wrote an adaptation of the novel for the stage. It was opened in 1959 in London and had Richard Harris playing the character of Sebastian Dangerfield. The later shows of the play were closed due to protests from churches and critics from Dublin. In 2005, popular actor Johnny Depp was in talks with author Donleavy for a movie adaptation of the novel. Depp even traveled to Dublin to discuss the script with the author. But, then Johnny Depp became busy with the Pirates of the Carribean series and never really got time to start the project. However, author Donleavey is still hopeful that he will start working on the film very soon.

Another popular book penned by author Donleavy is called ‘A Singular Man’. This book was published in 1963 in Boston. Author Donleavy has described the plot to have been set in a fictional city that resembles New York. The plot described in this book follows the life story of the central character named George Smith. He is shown to be mysteriously wealthy, but living a lonely life. The story progresses further as George Smith develops a love interest for Miss Tomson. The Time Magazine has referred to the character of Miss Tomson as a genuine dream figure having sexual appeal and grace. This book was reviewed as a masterpiece about true love by the National Observer. The magazine also labeled author Donleavy as a humorist who also has dignity. Many other literary magazines praised the book as excruciatingly funny. Overall, the book is a composite of love story, a vaudeville routine, a melodrama, and an unsolved detective story. George Smith’s character is mentioned as receiving attacks from all sides from his children and former wife, who also sue him for money. Smith faces problems from his housekeeper and his business associates. The only respite that he has, is in the form of the beautiful blond, Miss Tomson, who works as his secretary. But, she does not give much importance to his love towards her. The story unfolds as George Smith tries to overcome his problems and lessen his worries so as to live a peaceful life. He remains hopeful that Miss Tomson would understand his feelings accept his love.

Book Series In Order » Authors » J.P. Donleavy

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