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JG Farrell
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This new, expanded edition of the widely praised biography of the Booker Prize-winning author JG Farrell is timely. His literary achievement is still in the ascendent, as proved by the posthumous award in 2010 of the ‘Lost’ Booker for ‘Troubles’, decided by international e-vote. That made him a double Booker winner, and the publicity given to his renowned Empire Trilogy novels has left the general reading public wanting to know more. Lavinia Greacen has uncovered fresh material and additional photographs since the publication of the first edition, shedding further light on Farrell’s short life and tragic death, as well as the development of his writing career. The result is a fascinating and compelling story about the man described by the latest Estudios Irlandeses as ‘one of the English language’s most accomplished and enigmatic figures’.The life of the novelist J.G. Farrell (1935 – 1979) is almost stranger than fiction. He was a schoolboy sporting hero struck down by polio, a dedicated writer living on a shoestring who was awarded the Booker Prize in 1973, and, with his literary reputation secure and a newly-converted house on the scenic west Cork coastline, he was drowned at the age of 44 while fishing from rocks nearby. This expanded biography, interweaving letters and interviews from sources previously unknown, tells the moving story of his peripatetic life. It ranges from his childhood in Ireland to public school and university in England; from his base in London, where most of his novels took shape, to extended stays in France and the United States, and to periods spent in Mexico, India, Vietnam and Singapore. Readers will discover that Farrell’s celebrated Empire Trilogy, which includes Troubles, The Siege of Krishnapur and The Singapore Grip, reflects his own travels and personal experiences, as well as his unique wit and imagination. This biography reveals the very private man behind the celebrated literary novelist. ‘After reading it’, wrote Gerald Dawe, Senior Lecturer in English at Trinity College, Dublin, ‘I felt not only that I knew J.G. Farrell, but that I, too, mourned his loss as if he were a friend.’

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. p. xi
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. xii-xviii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. xix-xxii
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. xxiii-xxvii
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  1. Part One
  2. p. 1
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  1. CHAPTER ONE At the Centre of a Vast Empire
  2. pp. 3-13
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  1. CHAPTER TWO The Vanished Comfort and Security of Earlier Days 1935–1947
  2. pp. 14-25
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  1. CHAPTER THREE Run Very Fast, Very Fast Indeed 1947–1952
  2. pp. 26-41
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  1. CHAPTER FOUR The Yearning, the Boredom the Heartache 1952–1955
  2. pp. 42-54
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  1. CHAPTER FIVE A Ballistic Missile 1955–1956
  2. pp. 55-67
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  1. CHAPTER SIX In Human Affairs, Things Tend Inevitably to Go Wrong 1956–1957
  2. pp. 68-84
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  1. CHAPTER SEVEN The Beauty of the Cold Season 1957–1958
  2. pp. 85-103
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  1. CHAPTER EIGHT Water Becoming Hard Ice 1959–1960
  2. pp. 104-118
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  1. CHAPTER NINE This Is the Kind of Life I Want 1960–1962
  2. pp. 119-137
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  1. CHAPTER TEN The Slow, Dangerous Ascent 1962–1963
  2. pp. 138-160
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  1. CHAPTER ELEVEN A Sea of Dark Feathers 1964–1965
  2. pp. 161-175
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  1. CHAPTER TWELVE A Nebulous Desire for Escape 1965–1966
  2. pp. 176-192
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  1. CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Extreme Outer Edge of Endeavour 1966–1967
  2. pp. 193-212
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  1. CHAPTER FOURTEEN A Traveller through Unmapped Country 1967–1968
  2. pp. 213-228
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  1. Part Two
  2. p. 229
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  1. CHAPTER FIFTEEN Out into the Open Sea 1969–1970
  2. pp. 231-254
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  1. CHAPTER SIXTEEN A Foot Wedged in the Door of Eternity 1971
  2. pp. 255-276
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  1. CHAPTER SEVENTEEN In the Right Place at the Right Time 1973–1974
  2. pp. 277-301
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  1. CHAPTER EIGHTEEN At Large in the Minefields 1975–1978
  2. pp. 302-333
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  1. CHAPTER NINETEEN A Tiny Bit World-Weary 1978–1979
  2. pp. 334-356
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  1. CHAPTER TWENTY A Place to Breathe 1979
  2. pp. 357-373
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 374-380
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  1. The World of J.G. Farrell DEREK MAHON
  2. pp. 381-382
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  1. Notes and References
  2. pp. 383-401
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 402-412
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