"Honor is that quality one cherishes, keeps, proclaims and exemplifies until such time as you are damn sure certain it would do you no bloody damn good to keep, cherish, proclaim or exemplify it any longer."

- J.P. Donleavy from A Singular Country


by Bill Dunn

The Lilliput Press, the distinguished Dublin publisher known for its new works of Irish fiction and history as well as limited editions and handsome reprints of Irish classics by Joyce, Kavanagh and other giants, continues its ambitious publication of e-book editions of J.P. Donleavy titles. Ebooks are available in Kindle, Nook, Sony, Android & PDF formats.

Building on the successful 2011 launch of 6 Donleavy e-books, The Lilliput Press in 2012 adds four more Donleavy titles, all available internationally in the increasingly popular e-format. And there may be more Donleavy works to follow.

“The response of longtime Donleavy fans and readers discovering him in the e-format has been encouraging and steady,” notes Antony Farrell, The Lilliput Press's editor-in-chief. “He’s our best-selling author.”The Lilliput Press draws from Donleavy’s best-seller list and his backlist, offering an intriguing assortment of fiction and non-fiction, a bit of sociology and some journalism. Each book stands on its own merits. Collectively the works demonstrate Donleavy’s range and skill in different genres, all written in Donleavy’s unique style.

Latest E-Donleavy

The most recent Donleavy works added to The Lilliput Press e-library series (and their original years of publication) are:

The Onion Eaters (1971). This is the first of the author’s Irish big-house novels. Clayton Claw Cleever Clementine inherits Charnel Castle, calamity and uninvited guests.

A Fairy Tale of New York (1973) Another of the authors marvelous stories, this one with Cornelius Christian, a man on the mends after the death of his wife - his trials and joyous carryings on. This book was preceeded by the play Fairy Tales of New York.

The Unexpurgated Code: A Complete Manual of Survival & Manners (1975). The satiric self-help book dishes out etiquette and self-defense advice not to be found in Debrett’s or Emily Post. It’s the first volume to be illustrated by the author.

Wrong Information Is Being Given Out at Princeton
(1998). This later novel set in Manhattan after World War II is classic Donleavy. Struggling composer Alfonso Stephen O’Kelly’O marries the beautiful heiress Sylvia Triumphington and discovers the rich are different but not immune to tragedy or wrong information.

The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms (limited edition,1995; trade editions, 1997). This is Donleavy’s first novella since The Saddest Summer of Samuel S. It’s also the first Donleavy fiction told from a woman’s point of view. Newly divorced Jocelyn Guenevere Marchantiere Jones, a southern belle brought up to be a lady, loses her comfortable life in Scarsdale, but battles on with grace, grit and a surprise ending.

LWLCRR was the final JPD e-book offering from The Lilliput Press in 2012.

The Lilliput Press's Farrell noted: “I’m proud to bring J.P. Donleavy to an international readership from an Irish base, utilising the form of the liberated page first mooted by Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s and now an everyday reality.”

Also from The Lilliput Press

These titles join the six Donleavy e-books first made available by The Lilliput Press in October 2011:

Meet My Maker The Mad Molecule (1964). Here collected are Donleavy’s earliest short pieces, a mix of short stories and sketches. Included is the first Donleavy writing ever published, “Party On Saturday Night,” a short story that appeared in a 1950 issue of John Ryan’s literary journal Envoy: A Review of Literature & Art.

The Saddest Summer of Samuel S
(1966). The novella’s title character is an American undergoing psychoanalysis in Vienna. Herr S, who even exasperates his doctor, thinks too much and dispenses blunt opinions in his lonely battle for survival of the spirit.

The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B
(1968). Donleavy’s third novel has never been out of print. BBBB is unlike other Donleavy novels in that it is an unrestrained romance, featuring a strong, serious, main female character, Elizabeth Fitzdare, Balthazar’s love.

A Singular Country
(1989). The novelist turns reporter and social critic as he explores his adopted country Ireland in the early years of the Celtic Tiger boom, finding bijou bungalow blight.

The History of The Ginger Man (1994). Seymour Lawrence encouraged Donleavy to do The History. It’s the author’s compelling account of writing TGM, the rejections that followed, Brendan Behan’s directing him to The Olympia Press, the 1955 publication by Maurice Girodias in the Traveller’s Companion Series and the 21-year legal battle between them that ensued.

An Author and His Image (1997). This second collection of short pieces, published in England but never available in the United States – until now, includes essays, profiles and sports pieces from British and U.S. periodicals from 1976
to 1996.

Loyal Readers and a New Generation

In first announcing The Lilliput Press’s ambitious publication schedule of Donleavy e-books, editor Farrell correctly assessed the market potential, noting the e-books “will be welcomed by loyal readers seeking the mobility and convenience of the e-format while introducing Donleavy to new readers from the computer generation.”

Both publisher and author were interviewed at the time by Ireland’s radio and TV broadcaster RTÉ about the digital revolution and its impact on publishing.

Farrell told RTÉ that the bound book will remain “vital. It is the mother of what’s represented on the screen.” But the e-format enables instantaneous distribution worldwide and the ability of the reader to “carry 100 books in your pocket.”

Said Donleavy: “The more the works – any author’s work – can be available is a benefit for both the work and the author himself.”

The Lilliput Press meanwhile is exploring Donleavy’s backlist for other titles that might be right for republication as e-books in the new year.

Remembering Bohemian Dublin

Also of interest to Donleavy readers and available now from The Lilliput Press as an e-book as well as a paperback is Remembering How We Stood: Bohemian Dublin at Mid-Century, the memoir by John Ryan.

The legendary Ryan was a painter, arts patron, editor and publisher as well as a publican. Not only was he first to publish Donleavy and encouraged him to paint, Ryan was a patron of Patrick Kavanagh, Brian O’Nolan and Brendan Behan and an advocate for James Joyce at a time when Ireland wanted to forget Joyce. In 1954, on June 16, Ryan, Kavanagh, and a few others made a pilgrimage to Dublin’s Mortello Tower where Joyce briefly lived to hold the first Bloomsday celebration of Joyce. They later adjourned to The Bailey, the literary pub owned by Ryan.

Ryan’s eyewitness account of Dublin’s literary renaissance and the aspiring and competitive writers who made it happen, was first published in 1975 in Ireland by Gill & Macmillan
and in the U.S. by Taplinger.
The Lilliput Press republished the classic as a paperback, first in 1987 and many times since, with the addition of a foreword by Donleavy that also appears in the e-book.

Compatibility and Contact

For contractual reasons, Lilliput’s BBBB will be marketed in Europe and elsewhere outside the U.S. All its other Donleavy titles will be marketed worldwide. The Lilliput Press's e-books are compatible with the major hand-held readers, such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony’s Reader (now being managed by Kobo.)

Lilliput e-books can be purchased directly at the publisher’s website, www.lilliputpress.ie. Lilliput’s 2011-2012 catalogue can also be viewed online, www.issuu.com/thelilliputpress/docs/lilliput_press_catalogue.

The Donleavy e-books as well as other Lilliput titles are also available through other websites of book and e-content retailers and distributors around the world, including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Copia, Ebooks.com, Kobo, OverDrive, and Waterstones.

Lilliput’s e-book venture is a partnership with Faber Factory in the U.K. and is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

In addition to Lilliput’s Donleavy e-books, several best-selling Donleavy books, including
The Ginger Man
, are also available in the U.S. as e-books from the New York publisher
Grove Atlantic

Kindle E-books from Amazon.com

Current catalog of JPD E-books at Amazon in Kindle format:

    The Ginger Man (Grove-Atlantic)

    The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (Grove-Atlantic)

    A Singular Country (Lilliput Press)

    The Onion Eaters (Lilliput Press)

    A Fairytale of New York (Lilliput Press) Note: Fairy Tale as one word in the title

    Schultz (Lilliput Press)

    The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (Lilliput Press)

    Leila: Further in the Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentlman (Lilllyput Press)

    Wrong Information is Being Given Out at Princeton (Lilliput Press)

    The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms (Lilliput Press)

    The Unexpurgated Code (Lilliput Press)

Nook E-books from Barnes and Noble

Current catalog of JPD E-books at Barnes & Noble's E-book Store in Nook format:

    The Ginger Man (Grove-Atlantic)

    The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (Grove-Atlantic)

    A Singular Man (Grove-Atlantic)

    A Fairy Tale of New York (Grove-Atlantic)

    A Singular Country (Lilliput Press)

    An Author and His Image (Lilliput Press)

    Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule (Lilliput Press)

    The Saddest Summer of Samuel S (Lilliput Press)

    The History of The Ginger Man (Lilliput Press)

    The Onion Eaters (Lilliput Press)

    Schultz (Lilliput Press)

    The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (Lilliput Press)

    Leila: Further in the Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentlman (Lilllyput Press)

    Wrong Information is Being Given Out at Princeton (Lilliput Press)

    The Lady Who Liked Clean Restrooms (Lilliput Press)

    The Unexpurgated Code (Lilliput Press)

    The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (Grove-Atlantic)

    Leila: Further in the Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (Grove-Atlantic)

    The Sony Reader Store in now closed in the US and Canada. Sales and downloads have been transferred to Kobo. Kobo is incorporating Reader info into their site.

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