Brendan Behan

1923 (Dublin) – 1964 (Dublin)

Behan was the gifted ‘bad boy’ of Irish literature. O’Faolain helped nurture his talent and get him published. O’Brien and Kavanagh were among a Dublin drinking set, Freud (who painted his portrait) among a London one. Behan met Wilder, Mailer and Thurber at the Algonquin, said that Kerouac was the most controversial person he met in Greenwich Village, and stuffed $80 into the impoverished Ginsberg’s pocket. Littlewood helped bring his work to the stage, doing her best to keep him sufficiently sober. Beckett bailed him out in Paris, lectured him on drink, bought him a double brandy and gave him 100 francs.

Brendan Behan knew…