Farrell is now being re-discovered by a new generation of readers. He came back into the public eye last year when he was short listed for his novel the Siege of Krishnapur for the Best of the Booker prize winners over its 40 year history.
Salman Rushdie won the Best of the Booker with his Midnight's Children and he said of Farrell, “had he not sadly died so young, there is no question that he would today be one of the really major novelists of the English language. The three novels that he did leave are all in their different way extraordinary.”
Jim Farrell died on August 11th 1979 in a fishing accident on the Sheeps Head Peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. He had only moved to his new home near Kilchrohane earlier that year.
Jim is buried in the Church of Ireland graveyard in Durrus, Ireland.
There is now a plaque close to where Jim lost his life.
Although Jim was born in Liverpool, his letters which we are publshing in October, JG Farrell in His Own Words: Selected Letters and Diaries edited by Lavinia Greacen, show that he considered himself Irish. These previously unpublished letters to a wide range of friends give the reader a glimpse of this private man. Ranging from childhood to the day before his death, Farrell’s distinctive letters have the impact of autobiography.