Jamie O'Neill

in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, Ireland
January 01, 1962


Jamie O'Neill is an Irish author, who lived and worked in England for two decades; he now lives in Gortachalla, in County Galway, Ireland. His critically-acclaimed novel, At Swim, Two Boys (2001) earned him the highest advance ever paid for an Irish novel and frequent claims that he was the natural successor to James Joyce, Flann O'Brien and Samuel Beckett.

O'Neill was born in Dún Laoghaire in 1962 and was educated at Presentation College, Glasthule, County Dublin, run by the Presentation Brothers, and (in his words) "the city streets of London, the beaches of Greece." He was raised in a home without books, and first discovered that books "could be fun" when he read Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. O'Neill was unhappy at home; he had a very diff

Average rating: 4.08 · 9,057 ratings · 721 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
At Swim, Two Boys

4.09 avg rating — 8,358 ratings — published 2001 — 23 editions
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3.47 avg rating — 107 ratings — published 2003 — 7 editions
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3.64 avg rating — 70 ratings — published 2003 — 4 editions
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The Carnivorous Lamb

4.16 avg rating — 761 ratings — published 1975 — 17 editions
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“I’m just thinking that would be pleasant. To be reading, say, out of a book, and you to come up and touch me – my neck, say, or my knee – and I’d carry on reading, I might let a smile, no more, wouldn’t lose my place on the page. It would be pleasant to come to that. We’d come so close, do you see, that I wouldn’t be surprised out of myself every time you touched.”
Jamie O'Neill, At Swim, Two Boys

“It was true what Jim said, this wasn’t the end but the beginning. But the wars would end one day and Jim would come then, to the island they would share. One day surely the wars would end, and Jim would come home, if only to lie broken in MacMurrough’s arms, he would come to his island home. And MacMurrough would have it built for him, brick by brick, washed by the rain and the reckless sea. In the living stream they’d swim a season. For maybe it was true that no man is an island: but he believed that two very well might be.”
Jamie O'Neill, At Swim, Two Boys

“He slept that night thinking of loves and lighthouses. That one love might shine to bring all loves home.”
Jamie O'Neill, At Swim, Two Boys


Which book should the YA LGBT Books Group choose for our April-May 2021 Book of the Month read?

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