No Laughing Matter: The Life and Times of Flann O'Brien
During his all-too-brief lifetime, Flann O'Brien was read by a small but fanatically faithful coterie of readers, including James Joyce, Dylan Thomas, Graham Greene, and William Saroyan. He is one of the most difficult writers to pin down, partly or primarily as a result of his having carefully carved himself into three people, all of whom he used, when necessary, to hide behind. As Flann O'Brien he wrote several novels that for their technical precocity, exuberant prose, and sparking invention, have been proclaimed among the finest of the modern period; as Myles na Gopaleen ("Miles of the Little Ponies") he wrote for twenty-five years a wildly imaginative newspaper column for The Irish Times called Cruiskeen Lawn; as Brian O'Nolan, the name on his birth certificate, he held down a responsible job in the bureaucracy of the Irish Government. No Laughing Matter is the first full-length biography of this remarkable man.