Author: Jamie O’Neill

Profile: Jamie O’Neill is an Irish novelist and author. He is born in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. He completed his education at Presentation College, Glasthule, County Dublin, Ireland.

Jamie O’ Neill’s genre is historical fiction covering a range of subjects including colonialism, death, adolescence, lust, good and evil, conflict, war, sin, religion and homosexuality. He is the pioneer of the Literary movement called Stream of consciousness. At Swim, Two Boys are his two most notable works. At Swim, Two Boys is his most critically acclaimed novel which has earned the author the highest advance ever paid for any Irish novel. The book has also received frequent praise as the natural successor to Samuel Beckett, Flann O’Brien and James Joyce.


Jamie O’Neill presently resides in Gortachalla in County Galway. For two decades he previously resided and worked in England. Neill has been commended by Terry Pender that with his novel, At Swim, Two Boys, he can attain a rightful place amongst the greatest Irish writing starting with Joyce and ending with Roddy Doyle.

Out of the four children in the family, he was the youngest. He grew up without any exposure to books. After reading a Christmas book gift, ‘Ivanhoe’ by Sir Walter Scott, Neill found out, that books can be fun. He took 14 days to read the book. At 17 years of age Neill escaped from home owing to a tough relationship with his father. After being raised as a Catholic he confessed his liking for the Catholic Church language.

Writing style: Jamie O’Neill’s work adopts the imaginative route in Irish literature. For Neill his happiest place to be is at the middle of a paragraph. For him happiness is the positioning of an adverb.

Published Texts:


1975 – The Carnivorous Lamb

2001 – At Swim, Two Boys

2003 – Kilbrack

2003 – Disturbance

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Lambda Literary Award in Gay Men’s Fiction (At Swim, Two Boys)

Ferro-Grumley Award for Fiction (At Swim, Two Boys)