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14 September 2017 @ 05:54 am
Ginger Man caught by death  
J. P. Donleavy was a one-hit wonder. The Ginger Man, a bawdy picaresque, had to be published by Olympia Press in the 50s, then in America with the naughty bits excised a few years later, and finally unexpurgated in the Sinful Sixties. These days it looks somewhat tame. Later books were less successful.

The Good Ship Venus, John de St. Jorre’s delightful history of Olympia, reveals that The Ginger Man was a chaotic farrago that had to be cut and pasted into shape (when that had to be done literally) by a woman named Muffy (the wife of translator Austryn Wainhouse). And the Times obit revealed a detail that could have come from one of his novels:
Mr. Donleavy found himself in the news in 2011 when his second wife, Mary Wilson Price, an actress, revealed that the two grown children she had given birth to during their 19-year marriage, which ended in divorce in 1989, were not Mr. Donleavy’s. DNA tests performed after the couple had separated established that Rebecca Donleavy was the daughter of Kieran Guinness, of the brewing dynasty, and Rory Donleavy was the son of Finn Guinness, Kieran’s brother, whom Ms. Price later married.


ETA: Giving birth to grown children sounds uncomfortable. Newspaper of record, my shiny metal ass!
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