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Jamie O'Neill
(1962 - living) Ireland

Jamie O'Neill

Writer

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Born in Dublin, he was brought up in Dun Laoghaire (once Kingstown). His father was a minor civil servant. He went to school at Presentation College. In the family home the only reading was Reader's Digest, and he did not read his first book, Ivanhoe, until he was 17.

In his 20s he fell in love with an older man who had been a professor of English. For six years he was the lover of the television chat show host Russell Harty until he died in 1988 at which point Jamie O'Neill was pursued by the tabloid newspapers but managed to evade them and turned down large sums of money for his story.

From 1990 up to the end of 2000 he worked as a night porter at the Cassell Hospital in Ham. This allowed him to write using his laptop computer.

In 2001 the publishers Simon and Schuster gave him the largest advance that had been paid in Britain for an Irish novel. This was for the novel At Swim, Two Boys which is the story of the love between two boys against the backdrop of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. The title is a punning allusion to Flann O'Brien's At-Swim-Two-Birds.

His boyfriend, Julien, is from France.

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Source: The knitting Circle, UK - http://www.sbu.ac.uk/stafflag/people.html

Work:

  • Disturbance (1989)
  • Kilbrack or who is Nancy Valentine? (1990)
  • At Swim, Two Boys (2001)
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