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Behan in the USA

Behan in the USA

Dave Hannigan

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The rise and fall of the most famous Irishman in New York.

'To America, my new-found land, the man that hates you hates the human race' - Brendan Behan When Brendan Behan hit the Big Apple in September, 1960, he didn't so much take a bite out of it, he swallowed it whole. Over the next three years, the Dubliner hung with the Marx Brothers, feuded with Steve McQueen, and famously ignored Bob Dylan. From Broadway premieres to Hollywood parties, from talk shows to jail cells, Dave Hannigan retraces his steps in Behan in the USA: The Rise and Fall of the Most Famous Irishman in America.

He tells the hilarious yet ultimately poignant story of the Irish playwright who became one of the most notorious celebrities in America. With March 20th marking the 50th anniversary of Behan's premature death, Hannigan has written forensic account of the Dubliner's hectic time across the Atlantic, the love affairs with men and women, the constant rows, the literary triumphs and disasters, the abstinence and the excess.

The cast list reads like a who's who of 1960s literary and acting royalty. The locations, from the Algonquin and Chelsea Hotels to storied bars like The Brown Derby in Los Angeles and The White Horse in New York, form a backdrop that defined an era. “Behan in the USA” is a book that contains multitudes. The struggles of a literary talent on the wane, dissipated by drink and the circumstances of his growing international celebrity. The effort to come to terms with being treated as a peer by some of the greatest writers and artists of the time. The marriage coming under pressure from his love affairs with Valerie Danby-Smith (who bears him his only son Brendan), and Peter Arthurs (the Irish-born sailor who becomes part of his entourage).

Additional Information

Author Dave Hannigan
Publisher Ballpoint Press
Publication date 4 Oct 2014
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9780992673208

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