--Denis Donoghue, New York University
"Synge was a mass of contradictions, skillfully dissected in W. J. McCormack's definitive new biography. Fool of the Family is a magnificent labor of scholarship, which draws on much unpublished material to present a superbly rounded portrait."
--Terry Eagleton, Independent
"Well-researched and insightful. . . . At times it is beautifully gripping."
Soulmate of James Joyce, J. M. Synge (1871-1909) is famous as the author of Playboy of the Western World, which provoked riots at its Dublin premiere in 1907. But the man himself, his peculiar religious background, and little-investigated death, have, until now, remained in the shadows. W. J. McCormack here recreates the complex religious and social environment in which Synge refined his talents as a writer. Placing Synge's life firmly in the context of the cultural revolution unfolding in Europe, this fresh and lively account will stand as the authoritative biography of this great writer....Continua