J. P. Donleavy

1926 (New York) – 2017 (Mullingar, Ireland)

The reclusive Donleavy’s ribald masterpiece proved a difficult act to follow. O’Brien and Kavanagh were Dublin drinking mates. Behan was the first to read the manuscript of ‘The Ginger Man’ (having broken into Donleavy’s house, taking and abandoning all his shoes on a trek to a country pub), and proposed Girodias as publisher; Donleavy described Behan as his “best enemy.” Girodias and the famously litigious Donleavy feuded for years, Donleavy’s killer punch being the purchase of Girodias’ bankrupt press. McGowan sought permission for a title, Fleming got advice about a copyright problem, while Redford and Huston both discussed film rights.

J. P. Donleavy knew…