8 James Joyce Facts: A Look at the Artist as a Young Man

By February 2, 2016 January 10th, 2018 Authors

James Joyce was born on 2nd February 1882 and his ground breaking style of writing and experimental use of language would win him fans that would continue long after his death in 1941. The author of many works, Joyce is considered to be one of the most influential and important authors of the twentieth century.

We know much about Joyce’s books, and most of us are versed in a quote or two, so here are some facts about the author that you may not know.

Bloomsday is a Real Thing

If you’re into obscure dates then 16th June is Bloomsday. The day all events in Joyce’s Ulysses take place. The name comes from Leopold Bloom, the novel’s protagonist.

But Why June 16th?

Well, we know Joyce didn’t just pluck this date out of the air, it was the date he went on the first date with Nora Barnacle, who would become his wife.

They Had Quite the Affair

Today’s teens might think they invented raunchy talk with all their sexting, but when letters from James Joyce to Nora were sold at Sotheby’s in 2004, their contents were quite surprising. “The two parts of your body which do dirty things are the loveliest to me.” Is one of the tamer parts of the letter we will share here.

Joyce had Some Unusual Phobias

Joyce was attacked by a neighbourhood dog when he was a child, leading to lifelong cynophobia, but was also left with keraunophobia after a religious aunt told him that thunder was an angry God sounding his wrath.

Joyce gave us Quark

The word Quark first appeared in Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, as in the cry of a gull. Scientist Murray Gell-Mann had been reading the classic in 1963 when he perfected the unit of measurement ‘Three quarks for Muster Mark.’ Inspired him to take the word.

James Joyce and Virginia Woolf

James Joyce and Virginia Woolf were both groundbreaking authors, but they share many other similarities too. Both authors were born in and died in the same year. Both authors also published landmark modernist novels in the 1920s where the action takes place over a single day (Ulysses and Mrs Dalloway), leading both to be equally considered pioneers in stream of consciousness writing.

The Best Dinner Party of All Time

In 1922, the year that Ulysses was published, Joyce met fellow novelist Marcel Proust for dinner, also present were Pablo Picasso and Igor Stavinsky. The meeting took place in May, before Proust died in the November and much of the meal was spent discussing how ill the pair were, and led to both admitting they hadn’t read each other’s work.

Does Nobody Understand?

These were said to be Joyce’s words when he passed away on January 13th, 1941.

Joyce would in the end be one of Ireland’s greats, as the most influential and groundbreaking author of his day. It may be 134 years since his birth, but his words and influence reverberate through to the present day.



Andrea Levy, dies age 62

By | Authors, News | No Comments
British author Andrea Levy was born on 7 March 1956 to Jamaican parents. Her father came to Britain on Empire Windrush in 1948, and her mother followed not long after. It is no surprise then, that Levy’s experience of growing up black in a country that was still predominately white is reflected in her novels which focus on the Windrush Generation, British Jamaicans and their experiences of racial, cultural and national identity.

Read More

J. D Salinger’s Unseen Works to be Published

By | Authors, News | No Comments
The son of J. D Salinger has confirmed that the author of The Catcher in the Rye wrote a significant amount of work that has never been seen and that he and his father’s widow are preparing the previously unseen work for publication.

Its eight years since Salinger died in 2010 leaving behind a body of published works including the iconic The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, For Esme with Love and Squalor and other works. However, the author had not published anything since 1965’s New Yorker story Hapworth 16, 1924, his last published work.
Read More

Rosamunde Pilcher, Author of The Shell Seekers, Dead

By | Authors, News | No Comments
Rosamunde Pilcher, author of The Shell Seekers, and other wholesome novels has died at the age of 94 her agent confirmed yesterday. The novelist who penned nearly thirty romance and fiction books between 1949 and 2000 when she retired died following a short illness.

Pilcher was born Rosamunde E. M. L Scott on 22nd September 1924 in Lelant on the north coast of Cornwall and began writing aged 7. She was just 15 when she had her first short story published. In the late 1940s Pilcher began to write for Mills & Boon, publishing her stories under the pseudonym Jane Fraser.

Read More

Lost LGBT Pulp Classic, Work for a Million, returning to print

By | Authors, News, Reading Excerpts | No Comments
Work for a Million is a novel by Eve Zaremba which was first published in 1986. It was written by an out lesbian author and is described as being the first pulp novel to feature an out lesbian detective, Helen Keremos, as its protagonist.

To celebrate their five-year anniversary, a Canadian publisher, Bedside press, are reprinting the original novel with a new cover by Sami Kivelä, finally bringing this work back from its long out-of-print stint. Read More

Amazon Refutes Claim That It’s to Blame for the Decline of Author Earnings

By | Authors, News | No Comments
A recent report from the Authors Guild concluded that Amazon’s dominance of the online book market is largely to blame for the “crisis of epic proportions” facing writers’ earnings in the US. The writers’ body report was published last week and stated that median income from writing fell to $6,080 in 2017, which is down 42% from 2009, and literary authors are affected the worst.

Read More



Leave a Reply