James Thomas Farrell


Biography of James Thomas Farrell

James Thomas Farrell (February 27, 1904 - August 22, 1979) was an American novelist. One of his most famous works was the Studs Lonigan trilogy, which was made into a movie during 1960 and into a television miniseries during 1979. The trilogy was voted number 29 on the Modern Library's list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century.

Farrell was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a large Irish-American family which included siblings Earl, Joseph, Helen, John and Mary. In addition, there were several other siblings who died during childbirth, as well as one who died from the great influenza epidemic during 1917. His father was a teamster, and his mother a domestic servant. His parents were too poor to provide for him, and he went to live with his grandparents when he was three years old. Farrell attended Mt. Carmel High School, then known as St. Cyril, with future Egyptologist Richard Anthony Parker. He then later attended the University of Chicago. He began writing when he was 21 years old. A novelist, journalist, and short story writer known for his realistic descriptions of the working class South Side Irish, especially in the novels about the character Studs Lonigan. Farrell based his writing on his own experiences, particularly those that he included in his celebrated "Danny O'Neill Pentology" series of five novels.

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