An Introduction to Donleavy

James Patrick Donleavy, born April 23, 1926, lives today in County Westmeath in Ireland as a full Irish citizen. He was born to two Irish Immigrants in the Bronx neighborhood of Woodlawn where he grew up. After being expelled from Fordham Preparatory, a Jesuit school, he joined the US Naval Reserve and served during World War II. Following the war, Donleavy used the economic support of the GI Bill to attend Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland from 1946-49. While studying in Ireland, Donleavy acquired some attention for his painting and began work on his writing career. He was extremely ambitious, and described his early writing career to the Paris Review saying, “I realized that the only way you could ever tackle the world was to write something that no one could hold off, a book that would go everywhere, into everyone’s hands. And I decided then to write a novel that would shake the world.” That book that would shake the world would be his first novel The Ginger Man (1955). He published numerous works of fiction and several plays, but The Ginger Man remains, by far, his most popular work.

The Ginger Man Analysis


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