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The Kick

By: Richard Murphy

Publication Date: 1 January 2003

The Kick by Richard Murphy

Drawing on five decades of private notebooks, Richard Murphy has created a unique memoir of his life and times. Murphy writes about delicate personal issues as he chronicles the making and unmasking of a writer.

He includes amusing and moving accounts of his meetings and friendships, with many prominent writers and actors from the literary milieux of London, Dublin and New York, including C. S. Lewis, Harold Nicholson, J.R. Ackerley, Patrick Kavanagh, W. H. Auden, Theodore Roethke, Robert Lowell, Conor Cruise O’Brien, Robert Shaw, Peter O’Toole, John McGahern, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.


Richard Murphy was born in 1927 at Milford, near Kilmaine, County Mayo, and spent part of his childhood in Ceylon, where his father was the last British Mayor of Colombo. From the age of eight, he attended boarding schools in Ireland and England, winning a scholarship to Oxford at seventeen. After years of displacement, marriage and divorce, he returned to Inishbofin in 1959 and settled for twenty years at Cleggan, writing there, on Omey and alone on High Island. He moved to Dublin in 1980, detaching himself from the beloved country of his past the better to reach it in poetry. He has lived near Kandy in Sri Lanka since 2007. Read more.

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Publication Date

1 January 2003