HISTORY OF THE GINGER MAN

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9780395515952: HISTORY OF THE GINGER MAN

Presents the author's rags-to-riches story of his quest to create and publish his twentieth-century classic, The Ginger Man. 15,000 first printing. $15,000 ad/promo.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The story of the writing, publication, and court battles of Donleavy's classic novel The Ginger Man--never out of print since first publication by Olympia Press in 1955. A high Augustan and mock-Irish poetic aloofness carapaciously enshells and protects the bare-bottomed innocence of this banned, reviled, and adored author now 67 or so no comma please who indulges throughout in a gentleman's tweedily snug and pluperfect wordsmanship both lyrical and in silverpoint sentence fragments, a snob's game at times oddly self-sinking. How was it that the Bronx- born writer-citizen of Ireland was seemingly bound hand and foot by porno publisher Maurice Girodias before the game was by fortune reversed, sublimely, for the wild ginger man? Attending Trinity College in Dublin on the GI Bill, ``Mike'' Donleavy fell in with old Navy buddy Gainor Stephen Crist, who lent his personal flavor to Donleavy's hero Sebastian Dangerfield, the ginger man, as did a second friend, Dublin publisher John Ryan. These charmers ``savored language, rolled it about on the tongue, tasted for its vintage and measuredly rationed it out to the waiting ears.'' Donleavy's boozing comrade, spit-in-yer-eye Irish playwright Brendan Behan, clearly lends a bounce to Dangerfield as well. Young Donleavy, poor as an outhouse rat, marries, moves his bride to a cheap cottage in Kilcoole, and begins his four-year stint of writing a first novel, The Ginger Man, some of whose unedited, unused, or misbegotten passages here rise in blood from the page. We are lip-lickingly compelled to await the arrival of villainous publisher Girodias, who when he does show up after 400 pages seems a reasonable if greedy fellow whose villainy has been as overblown as Donleavy's grandiosity, which in fact is all style overlying tubby substance. Even so: often quite wonderful, especially about Behan and Crist. Donleavy's unbuttoned best in 40 years, as unbalanced as The Ginger Man. -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

From the author of The Ginger Man comes a history of that novel from its inception to its British publication in 1956. And, like The Ginger Man , it is a blasphemous read, mainly because many of the characters who inhabit the novel are here. Readers will be struck by the major role played by Brendan Behan, Donleavy's editor and tipster who knew a publisher willing to take on The Ginger Man. In 1952 Donleavy, with his wife and child left Ireland, where he had lived after graduating from Trinity, to return home to New York City. In the U.S., after becoming depressed over McCarthyism and over the many rejections of his manuscript, he and his family headed to England. It was there that Behan suggested that the manuscript be submitted to Olympia Press in Paris, the publisher of Samuel Beckett. To Donleavy's outrage, The Ginger Man appeared under Olympia's Traveller's Companion Series, a pornographic imprint. After much legal haggling over ownership of the British and American rights, the novel was published in Britain, and Donleavy outmaneuvered Maurice Giroudias to become the owner of Olympia Press and, in his own words, ended up "actually in litigation with myself." An interesting, if at times self-serving study of author and work that will appeal only to Donleavy's most dedicated fans. Photos. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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