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J. G. Farrell

(1935—1979) novelist


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(1935–79),

novelist, educated at Oxford, where, in his first term, he contracted poliomyelitis. He later travelled widely in America, Europe, and the East. A Man from Elsewhere (1963) was followed by The Lung (1965) and A Girl in the Head (1967). His first substantial novel, Troubles (1970), is set in Ireland, in the decaying Majestic Hotel, just after the First World War. The Siege of Krishnapur (1973, Booker Prize) deals with the events of the Indian Mutiny, in a characteristically ironic and comic vein. The Singapore Grip (1978) moves closer to the epic, blending real and fictitious characters and describing the fall of Singapore to the Japanese. His last three novels reflect a sense of the end of the British Empire and the stubborn refusal of his characters to recognize the course of history. The Hill Station (1981) was left unfinished when Farrell was accidentally drowned.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).


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