Jamie O'Neill

Jamie O'Neill

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Jamie O'Neill

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Jamie O'Neill (born 1962 in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland) is an Irish author currently living in Gortachalla in County Galway, having previously lived and worked in England for two decades. His critically acclaimed novel, At Swim, Two Boys (2001) earned him the highest advance ever paid for an Irish novel and frequent praise as the natural successor to James Joyce, Flann O'Brien and Samuel Beckett.

Background and education

O'Neill was born in Dún Laoghaire in 1962 and was educated at Presentation College, Glasthule, County Dublin, run by the Presentation Brothers, and (in his words) "the city streets of London, the beaches of Greece." He was raised in a home without books, and first discovered that books "could be fun" when he read Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. O'Neill was unhappy at home; he had a very difficult relationship with his father and ran away from home at age 17.

O'Neill lists as his favourite books: Ulysses, by James Joyce, The Last of the Wine, by Mary Renault, Hadrian VII, by Fr. Rolfe (Frederick Baron Corvo), The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Siege of...... ...
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