Photo by Thomas E. Kennedy

"The purpose of writing is to make your mother
and father drop dead with shame."
- J.P. Donleavy

Leather-bound presentation editions - a gift to the author from his American publisher, Seymour Lawrence (Delacorte Press). Larger view. From the J.P. Donleavy library at Levington Park. Photo by Bill Dunn. Very special thanks to J.P. Donleavy and Bill Dunn for this addition to the Compendium site.

Although J.P. Donleavy's creative scope included many disciplines, he is known best as an author. The indexes below provide a detailed reference for fiction and nonfiction works. For information
on scriptwriting, visit the Donleavy - Playwright and JPD - Film & Video pages. The first group
in the index includes links found on this page. The second group links to pages elsewhere
on the Compendium site.

Chronological Bibliography of First Editions by Title
Comprehensive, Chronological, Illustrated Bibliography With Publishing History
Donleavy Readings (In-Person or On-Air)
Literary Awards and Achievements

Donleavy Works In Anthologies and Collections
Donleavy Works In Periodicals
Donleavy Forwards, Introductions, Blurbs, etc.
Donleavy ebooks

Donleavy Audio Books
Donleavy Scripts
Adventures in Making The Ginger Man by Bill Dunn
The Lillyput Press
(publisher of an extensive catalog of Donleavy e-books and the 60th Anniversary special edition of The Ginger Man
Reviews of Donleavy Books
Reviews of Donleavy Plays
Adventures With J.P. Donleavy
(the exploits of JPD and publisher Seymour Lawrence)
Tribute to Seymour Lawrence
(JPD's publisher 1963 - 1994)
J.P. Donleavy Buyers' Guide


The Ginger Man (Novel) Olympia Press, Paris 1955
*What They Did in Dublin with The Ginger Man (Play) MacGibbon & Kee, London 1961
The Ginger Man (Play) Random House, New York 1961
**Fairy Tales of New York (Play),  Penguin, UK 1961 | Random House, New York 1961
A Singular Man (Novel) Atlantic-Little, Brown, Boston 1963
Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule (Stories & Sketches) Atlantic-Little, Brown, Boston 1964
A Singular Man (Play) The Bodley Head, UK 1965
The Saddest Summer of Samuel S (Novella) Delacorte Press, New York 1966
The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (Novel) Delacorte Press, New York 1968
The Onion Eaters (Novel) Delacorte Press, New York 1971
The Plays of JP Donleavy Delacorte Press, New York 1972
A Fairy Tale of New York (Novel) Delacorte Press, New York 1973
J.P. Donleavy: The Plays Penguin, UK 1974
The Unexpurgated Code... (Nonfiction) Delacorte Press, New York 1975
The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman (Novel) Franklin Library, Franklin Center, PA 1977
Schultz (Novel) Delacorte Press, New York 1979
Leila (Novel) Franklin Library, Franklin Center, Pennsylvania 1983
De Alfonce Tennis... (a Legend) Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1984
J.P. Donleavy's Ireland... (Nonfiction) Viking, NY, 1986 | Michael Joseph, London 1986
Are You Listening Rabbi Löw (Novel) Viking, London 1987
A Singular Country (Nonfiction) Peterborough - Ryan, UK 1989
That Darcy, That Dancer, That Gentleman (Novel) Viking, London 1990
The History of the Ginger Man (Nonfiction) Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1994 | Viking, London 1994
The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms (Novella) Thornwillow Press, US 1995
An Author and His Image (Collected Short Pieces-Nonfiction) Viking, London 1997
Wrong Information is Being Given Out at Princeton (Novel) Thomas Dunn-St. Martins Press, New York| Viking, London 1998***

* There is often confusion over the title of this edition. If one reads the sections of type on the cover as a whole, it reads, What They Did in Dublin with The Ginger Man a play." It's been offered at times as a play titled "What They Did in Dublin" or "What They Did in Dublin With the Ginger Man." It's actually The Ginger Man in play form with an introduction by Donleavy titled What They Did in Dublin - Thus "What They Did in Dublin" with (as in 'along with') "The Ginger Man" - a play. The Random House US edition (also published in 1961) clearly states on its cover, "The Ginger Man - by J.P. Donleavy - With an Introduction - What They Did in Dublin - by the author."

** Again there is a great deal of confusion over the two titles Fairy Tales of New York and A Fairy Tale of New York. The former is the story in play form, the latter the novel. It's been misstated online that A Fairy Tale of New York is JPD's second novel. Although Donleavy began writing A Fairy Tale of New York after The Ginger Man, his second published novel was A Singular Man. His interview in issue 63 of The Paris Review explains the reason for this. Fairy Tales of New York, the play, was published in 1961 by both Random House in the US and Penguin in the UK, but the novel A Fairy Tale of New York was not published until 1973.

*** Although the first trade editions published in the UK by Viking and in the U.S. by Thomas Dunn - St. Martins Press state that a limited edition of Wrong Information...was first published by Thornwillow Press in a handmade edition of 175 signed copies as with The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms, publication of the Thornwillow edition has been delayed. If and when the edition appears, it will now be a limited, special edition but no longer the true first edition.



The goal of the Compendium is to list every printing of every Donleavy title, including firsts, reprints, translations, book club editions, piracies, and limited special editions. Contributors receive credits in the listings and additions are most appreciated. Many thanks to Robert A. Mitchell, who helped with many details. Also special thanks to Hanne Behrens for all of her help with non-English language editions and to John Baxter for sharing his knowledge of The Olympia Press, Paris and its editions of The Ginger Man.

Novels, novellas

The Ginger Man
A Singular Man
The Saddest Summer of Samuel S
The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B
The Onion Eaters
A Fairy Tale of New York
The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman
Leila: Further in the Life and Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman
Are You Listening Rabbi Löw
That Darcy, That Dancer, That Gentleman
The Lady Who Liked Clean Rest Rooms
Wrong Information is Being Given Out at Princeton

Published plays
(As most published plays appeared in first edition only, all are presented on one illustrated page)

The Ginger Man
Fairy Tales of New York
A Singular Man
The Saddest Summer of Samuel S
The Plays of J.P. Donleavy
J.P. Donleavy - The Plays

Collected short fiction and nonfiction

Meet My Maker the Mad Molecule (fiction)
An Author and His Image (nonfiction)


J.P. Donleavy's Ireland in All of Her Sins and Some of Her Graces
A Singular Country
The History of the Ginger Man
The History of the Ginger Man: An Autobiography

Books That Defy Category

The Unexpurgated Code: A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners

De Alfonce Tennis: The Superlative Game of Eccentric Champions Its History,
 Accoutrements, Rules, Conduct and Regimen



- Royal Court Theatre, London - Sunday, May 7, Penguin Books and E&S Books presented a reading by JPD titled "Molecules From a Singular Man." JPD was introduced by Nicholas Tomalin, literary editor of The New Statesman. Featured in the programme were short stories from Meet My Maker The Mad Molecule and excerpts from the novels A Singular Man, The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B and The Ginger Man, as well as the then to be published novella, The Saddest Summer of Samuel S. Special thanks to Bill Dunn for providing scans of the rare programme.

Larger views:
Inside spread (left)
Inside spread (right)
All photos courtesy Bill Dunn.

- Oriel Bookshop, Cardiff, Wales (various dates) Other readers included Eugene Ionesco and Margaret Atwood
- Kirkland House, Harvard University, November 10, 1973
- Washington College's Sophie Kerr Series in their creative writing program. Date?
- "J.P. Donleavy Reads from Are You Listening Rabbi L
öw and Talks About Critics and Writing for Amusement" Radio reading by JPD and interview by Tom Vitale, A Moveable Feast. Date? On audio cassette. Very scarce.
- Calgary Literary Olympics, 1988 (winner of event's "Best Reader" award)
- Glenbow Museum Theatre, Calgary, Canada, February 4, 1988
- Miami International Book Fair (Introduced by Richard Alan Schwartz, Ph.D) Date?
- Cheltenham Literary Festival, 1993
- New York Public Library - reading from The History of The Ginger Man - March 16, 1994
- Mahar's Public Bar, Albany, NY, May 1, 1994
- Waterstone's, London, June 5, 1994 - reading from The History of The Ginger Man
Ty Llen, Somerset Place, Swansea Wales, Sat. 17th June 1994
- Ilkley Literature Festival, Ilkley West Yorkshire, England, 1995
- The Dylan Thomas Centre/Taliesin Theatre, University, Swansea, UK, 1995
- PEN/Faulkner literary arts outreach program: Writers in Schools. - Date?
- RTÉ Radio 1 (live reading on air of The Ginger Man) - April 12-16, 1999
- Ilkley Literature Festival, Ilkley West Yorkshire, 1999
- International Readings series at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto - Date?

- Leinster/Munster Literary Festival, Cork Theatre, March 10, 2001
- The Brendan Behan Pub, Dublin (various dates)

- "The Brenda Power Show 2004"
RTÉ Radio 1 March 27-29. The Edgeworth Literary Society hosted the 3rd annual Maria Edgeworth Literary Weekend. The event was formally opened by JPD, who also launched the third volume of The Edgeworth Papers with a reading of his work
West Cork Literary Festival, Bantry June 29, 2004
- The Ginger Man Pub, New York (50th anniversary of The Ginger Man's publication) 2005
- 6th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, (Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau) Tues. April 5, 2005. JPD reading from The Ginger Man to celebrate its 50th anniversary of publication.

Photo © 2005 Maike Schulz

- King's Lynn Fiction Festival, UK, Saturday, March 11, 2006
- Athlone Literary Festival, at The Prince of Wales Hotel, Saturday, September 20, 2008
- All Ireland Poetry Day, Dublin, October, 2008
- Arts Council Literarary Tent at Electric Picnic, August 26, 2013
- Afternoon with J.P. Donleavy (readings and Q&A) Ginger Man Pub, Dublin June 7, 2014
- Reading by J.P. Donleavy, The Dock, Saturday August 8, 2014



- First runner up - National Book Awards for The Ginger Man, 1959
- Most Promising Playwright Award - Evening Standard, 1960 for Fairy Tales of New York
- Brandeis Creative Arts Award, '61-62 for plays The Ginger Man & Fairy Tales of New York
- Elected a Knight of Mark Twain by Cyril Clemens of the Mark Twain Journal for "your outstanding contribution to modern literature"
- Citation from National Institute & American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1975
- American Academy of Arts and Letters grantee, 1975
- Best Reader Award, Calgary Literary Olympics, 1988
- Worldfest Houston Gold Award, 1992 for writer & narrator of the film J.P. Donleavy's Ireland
- Cine Golden Eagle Award, 1993 for writer & narrator of film
J.P. Donleavy's Ireland
- Novel, The Ginger Man listed in Modern Library's Best 100 Novels of the 20th Century
- Novel, The Ginger Man ranked #7 in Best-selling Books of All Time in Ireland

- The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, November, 2015 presented J.P. Donleavy with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Acheivement Award for his outstanding contribution to modern literature.

JPD working on The Ginger Man, early 1950s. Photo courtesy The J.P. Donleavy Archives.

To purchase books by J.P. Donleavy, go to the Buyers' Guide.

Limited, signed edition of
The Ginger Man audio book read by J.P. Donleavy. To place an order, email me and I will put you in touch with distribution.
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JPD in his study reviewing a manuscript in progress. Revisions are taped to corresponding pages and the whole work is taped together in sequence.