A Singular Country
By: J.P. Donleavy
Publication Date: October 2011
A Singular Country is J.P. Donleavy’s idiosyncratic and personal view of Ireland told in the vernacular of the Irishman, which he has nearly, but not quite, become. The New York City-born author assumed the right to speak of his adopted country from his own struggles and early turmoils within its shores and from his “descent on both parental sides from ancient bog-trotters traceable as far back into the centuries as anyone can record or remember”. J.P. Donleavy brings to vivid life the range of Ireland’s people, from the small farmer to the landed aristocrat, from the Anglo-Irish in their crumbling mansions to the “gombeen-men erecting their emporiums of vulgarity”. Priests, politicians, saints, scholars – none escape his pointed pen. Modern Ireland is unveiled with a mixture of genius and hilarity that only Donleavy can muster.
“A country where the dead are forever living and which is at once magical, illogical, mysterious and infuriating – a land that is mostly, and perhaps always will remain, a condition of the mind in which dreams can be your only trusted reality.”
Complimented by the black and white photography of Patrick Prendergast.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.P. ‘Mike’ Donleavy (1926–2017) wrote more than twenty books after The Ginger Man, including The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (1968), A Fairy Tale of New York (1973), The Onion Eaters (1971) and Schultz (1979) (all available as eBooks from Lilliput), along with several works of non-fiction such as The Unexpurgated Code: A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners (1975). He lived along the shores of Lough Owel near Mullingar in County Westmeath. Watch him win the An Post Lifetime Achievement Award 2015.
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