North Tipperary Author’s New Book First To Celebrate Unesco Award

North Tipp author Brendan Lynch has published the first book to celebrate Dublin’s UNESCO City of Literature award, PRODIGALS AND GENIUSES. The Writers and Artists of Dublin’s Baggotonia. It will be launched by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan in Dublin on Novermber 15.
Foreword writer J. P. Donleavy said; “All the writers are here from Samuel Beckett to Brendan Behan and Patrick Kavanagh. The book is a worthy tribute to our wonderful writers and poets who battled against the odds in the latter half of the twentieth century.”
Brendan Lynch from Toomevara recalled, “I saw most of these writers in Dublin as a youngster in the 1950s. Many people derided their lifestyle and their work. But they persisted and it’s great to see them now being acknowledged.
“Baggotonia is the Dublin equivalent of London’s Fitzrovia or the Left bank of Paris Centred on Baggot and Leeson Streets, and girdled by the Grand Canal, it is the unmapped village of writers, artists and ne’er-do-wells which in the 1950s became known as Baggotonia. Its inhabitants and habitués include four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature and nearly every nineteenth and twentieth century Irish writer of note. From Oscar Wilde, Oliver St. John Gogarty, George Moore and George Bernard Shaw to Samuel Beckett, Elizabeth Bowen, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce and Flann O’Brien.”
PRODIGALS is based on interviews and contemporary accounts and includes chapters on censorship and accounts of some of Ireland’s most notorious events, the Patrick Kavanagh libel trial and the prosecution of The Pike Theatre for alleged indecency in 1954. The book also pays tribute to John Ryan, originally from Newport, who launched the literary magazine, Envoy, which fought against censorship and first published many of the struggling writers of the period.
An accomplished artist, John exhibited at the annual RHA shows and designed theatre
sets for the Abbey, Gate and Olympia Theatres. He played a major role in
establishing the Sandycove Martello tower as a Joyce Museum.  A contemporary insisted at John’s 1992 funeral: “Few people did as much for Irish literature as John did in the lean fifties, when he provided hospitality and encouragement to many an aspiring artist and writer. He was a Renaissance man.”

J. P. Donleavy concluded: “Brendan Lynch’s book evokes vibrant memories of an ancient Dublin. And could there be any other city in the world more worth speaking about? Old friends come back to life whose minds still speak from the soul. Ancient sorrows remembered to haunt, but in which a bit of bright light still glows.”
Brendan Lynch is a former Tipperary county cyclist. He has written six books, including the award-winning Green Dust.

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