Indeed, at 87, the author of the best-selling cult novel ‘”The Ginger Man” merrily lives as a semi-reclusive gentleman farmer in shabby Grey Gardens-style splendor on his Irish estate. Meet America’s pre-eminent literary bohemian.
J. P. Donleavy is, arguably, the funniest living American novelist, but the circumstances of his life and work require a person making that argument to qualify and amplify and clarify certain facts. For instance, J. P. Donleavy is not dead. At 87, he lives a bit like a genial hermit, a bit like a gentleman farmer. He looks a lot like a stately imp, in his red bucket hat and green flannel shirt, as he sits with his back to a fireplace spilling ages of ashes into the kitchen of his stone manor-house at Levington Park, a rambling estate 50-odd miles west of Dublin. Out on the acreage, four dozen cows graze beneath the gray bowl of the sky.
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