By: John Ryan
With a foreword by J.P. Donleavy
‘The best book about literary Dublin ever written’ – Frank Delaney
Edna O’Brien chose John Ryan’s memoirs as her Observer Book of the Year in 1975, describing it as ‘a fine and loving account of literary Dublin in the golden fifties, which purrs with life and anecdote’.
This classic evocation of the period 1945-55 celebrates a city and its personalities – Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh, Myles na gCopaleen (Flann O’Brien), as well as Pope’ O’Mahony, Gainor Crist the original Ginger Man, and others – a remarkable group who revitalized post-war literature in Ireland.
As friend, publisher, publican and fellow artist, Ryan paints a vivid picture of this ebullient, fertile milieu: ‘No more singular body of characters will ever rub shoulders again at any given time, or a city more uniquely bizarre than literary Dublin will ever be seen.’
‘As one reads his words, dressed in their wonderful finery of irony, the world he speaks of reblossoms to be back again awhile. To see, feel and smell the Dublin of that day; a masterpiece of reminiscence’ – from the foreword by J.P. Donleavy
JOHN RYAN was born in Dublin in 1925, and attended the National College of Art and Design. He enjoyed a varied life as a set designer, publisher, broadcaster and licensee. He was founder-editor of The Dublin Magazine and secretary of the James Joyce Society from 1970 to 1974. He died in 1992.