Born OTD in 1923, Irish poet, short story writer, novelist & playwright who wrote in both English & Irish. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish writers of all time, Brendan Behan. This diverse little collection of 21 short prose pieces by Behan, some fictional, some autobiographical, together with a selection from his 1950’s Irish Times column, caused something of a stir when it first appeared in 1981. The title story, After the Wake, was the talking point at the time, since it appeared to be about what was then something of a forbidden subject, homosexual love.

After The Wake

When the present collection appeared the same people dismissed the story as part of the pornographic hack work which, according to his wife Beatrice, the semi-destitute Behan was writing in Paris after the war and not in any way autobiographical. Whatever the case may be we’re fortunate to have the story.

After the Wake does seem to treat of the subject of gay love and the overall tone is very low-key and unusually guarded for a writer like Behan,. But, risqué subject matter aside, and whatever its provenance, it stands apart from all the other stories in the book and is the best by a long way.

Available in store and online.

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