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Joseph O'Connor Biography

(1963– ), Cowboys and Indians, True Believers, Desperadoes, The Secret World of the Irish Male

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Irish novelist, born in Dublin, the older brother of the Irish rock star Sinead O'Connor; he was educated at University College, Dublin, and worked for the British Nicaraguan Solidarity Campaign before becoming a full-time writer in 1988. Cowboys and Indians (1991), his first novel, is a vivid and anarchically humorous treatment of a young Irishman who goes to London to pursue a career in rock music. The short stories of True Believers (1991) comment with imaginative acuteness on social and cultural conditions in Britain and Ireland. Desperadoes (1994), a novel of considerable scope and seriocomic power, draws on his experiences of Nicaragua in its narrative of the disappearance of an Irish musician in Central America. O'Connor's fiction is marked by stylistic economy and directness in combination with deft handling of narrative complexities and vigorously demotic dialogue. His other works include The Secret World of the Irish Male (1994), a collection of iconoclastic essays on contemporary Ireland, and Even the Olives Are Bleeding (1992), a biography of the Irish poet Charles Donnelly.

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