‘When I’m dead, I hope it may be said: his sins were scarlet, but his books were read.’ Multi-million selling author. Famed recluse. Erstwhile correspondent of Jackie Onassis. Contemporary cohort of Johnny Depp. Author, playwright, artist, farmer, and all-round Irish icon, J. P. Donleavy is a one-man literary cult surrounded by a tantalising mythology.
The young American-Irish émigré was first launched into literary orbit with his debut bestseller The Ginger Man in 1955. Chronicling the drunken exploits of a rowdy young American in post-war Dublin, it cemented the author’s cult credentials and has since sold more than 45 million copies in two dozen languages. Post Ginger Man, Donleavy’s prodigious output boasts novels, plays, short stories and autobiography, including The Saddest Summer of Samuel S (1966) and A Fairytale of New York (1979).
This special retrospective looks back on a remarkable career from Dublin’s post-war creative Bohemia to fevered speculation of an imminent Ginger Man screen adaptation care of Laurence Dunmore and Mr Depp.