James Patrick Donleavy, 1926 - James (aka, Mike) Donleavy was born in New York on April 23, 1926 to Irish immigrants. He served in the Navy during WWII and afterwards, attended Trinity College in Dublin. He began as a painter to gain entry into the London gallery scene but he was told that he would have to be famous to have his work shown, which he decided to do, but as a writer. Donleavy's first novel was "The Ginger Man," which took years to complete and even more to get published because of the explicit sex for that time. It was finally published by Maurice Girodias, who also published a series of pornographic fiction called the Traveler's Companion Series. Donleavy tried to save his credibility as an author by trying to arrange for the book to be published in the UK and agreeing to alter the work to avert censorship. Donleavy is also an accomplished playwright as well as the scriptwriter, narrator and lead of the film/video J.P. Donleavy's Ireland. Donleavy's received several awards which include Most Promising Playwright Award, 1960, for Fairy Tales of New York; Brandeis Creative Arts Award, 1961&62, for the plays The Ginger Man and Fairy Tales of New York; Citation from National Institute & American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1975; Worldfest Houston Gold Award, 1992, for the film J.P. Donleavy's Ireland and the Cine Golden Eagle Award, 1993, for writer and narrator of the film J.P. Donleavy's Ireland. He was listed in the Modern Library's Best 100 Novels of the Century for "The Ginger Man," which also was ranked #7 in Best-selling Books of All Time in Ireland.
Jay McInerney was born in 1955 in Hartford, Conn. and earned his B.A from Williams College in 1976. He did postgraduate study at Syracuse University, and was a Princeton in Asia fellow in 1977. McInerney's career includes stints as a newspaper reporter, a textbook editor, and a fact checker for the New Yorker magazine. His writing has appeared in a variety of periodicals including Paris Review, Vogue, and Atlantic Monthly. His books include "Model Behavior," "The Last of the Savages," and "Bright Lights, Big City."