Brendan Behan

Brendan Behan (bē´hăn), 1923–64, Irish dramatist. A notoriously outspoken and uninhibited man, he joined the Irish Republican Army in 1937 and was twice imprisoned for political offenses. His first play, The Quare Fellow (1956), a grimly comic drama set in the hours preceding a prison hanging, was followed by The Hostage (1958), a song and dance farce set in a brothel. Brendan Behan's Island: an Irish Sketch-Book (1962) is a miscellaneous collection.

See his autobiographical Borstal Boy (1958); biographies by his brother Dominic Behan (1966) and U. O'Connor (1971).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2017, The Columbia University Press.

Brendan Behan: Selected full-text books and articles

The Politics of Irish Drama: Plays in Context from Boucicault to Friel By Nicholas Grene Cambridge University Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Behan and "The Hostage" begins on p. 157
The Ways of the World: Comedy and Society By Robert Bechtold Heilman University of Washington Press, 1978
Librarian's tip: "Behan's 'The Hostage'" begins on p. 158
Belated Behan: Brendan Behan and the Cultural Politics of Memory By Brannigan, John Eire-Ireland: a Journal of Irish Studies, Fall-Winter 2002
Representing Ireland: Gender, Class, Nationality By Susan Shaw Sailer University Press of Florida, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. 10 "Women, 'Queers,' Love, and Politics: The Crying Game as a Corrective Adaptation of/Reply to The Hostage"
Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995: A Research and Production Sourcebook By Bernice Schrank; William W. Demastes Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian's tip: "Brendan Francis Behan (1923-1964)" begins on p. 23
The Angry Theatre: New British Drama By John Russell Taylor Hill and Wang, 1962
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Brendan Behan begins on p. 102
1964: Brendan Behan at Lime Grove By Muggeridge, Malcolm New Statesman (1996), Vol. 128, No. 4465, December 6, 1999
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