John B. Keane
John Brendan Keane was an Irish
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

, novelist and essayist from Listowel, County Kerry
County Kerry
Kerry means the "people of Ciar" which was the name of the pre-Gaelic tribe who lived in part of the present county. The legendary founder of the tribe was Ciar, son of Fergus mac Róich. In Old Irish "Ciar" meant black or dark brown, and the word continues in use in modern Irish as an adjective...


Life and career

A son of William B. Keane and Hannah Purtill, he was educated at Listowel National School and then at St. Michael's College Listowel
St. Michael's College Listowel
St Michael's College Listowel, is an all-boys secondary school serving the town of Listowel, and the greater North Kerry catchment area. The school is situated on the banks of the River Feale, and can be found on the Cahirdown Road.-History:...

. He worked as a chemist's assistant for A.H. Jones, a chemist who dabbled in buying antiques. Keane had various jobs in the UK between 1951 and 1955, and was a pub owner in Listowel from 1955.

He married Mary O'Connor and had four children: Billy, Conor, John and Joanna. He was an Honorary Life Member of the Royal Dublin Society
Royal Dublin Society
The Royal Dublin Society was founded on 25 June 1731 to "to promote and develop agriculture, arts, industry, and science in Ireland". The RDS is synonymous with its main premises in Ballsbridge in Dublin, Ireland...

 from 1991, served as president of Irish PEN
International PEN
PEN International , the worldwide association of writers, was founded in London in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere....

 and was a founder member of the Society of Irish Playwrights as well as a member of Aosdána
Aosdána is an Irish association of Artists. It was created in 1981 on the initiative of a group of writers and with support from the Arts Council of Ireland. Membership, which is by invitation from current members, is limited to 250 individuals; before 2005 it was limited to 200...

. He remained a prominent member of the Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Fine Gael is a centre-right to centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland. It is the single largest party in Ireland in the Oireachtas, in local government, and in terms of Members of the European Parliament. The party has a membership of over 35,000...

 party throughout his life, never being shy of political debate.

His nephew is the award-winning investigative journalist Fergal Keane
Fergal Keane
Fergal Patrick Keane , is an Irish writer and broadcaster. For many years, Keane was the BBC's correspondent in Southern Africa. He is the nephew of Irish author John B. Keane....

. His son John is a journalist with the Kilkenny People
Kilkenny People
The Kilkenny People is a local paper circulated in County Kilkenny, Ireland. James Joyce referred to this paper in his Ulysses.Popular in Kilkenny City and County, it competes with the Kilkenny Voice and "The Munster Express" in the south of the county...



  • Many Young Men of Twenty (1946)
  • Sive (1959)
  • Sharon's Grave (1960)
  • The Highest House on the Mountain (1961)
  • The Man From Clare (1962)
  • The Year of the Hiker (1963)
  • The Field
    The Field
    The Field is a play written by John B. Keane, first performed in 1965. It tells the story of the hardened farmer "Bull" McCabe and his love for the land he rents. The play debuted at Dublin's Olympia Theatre in 1965, with Ray McAnally as "The Bull" and Eamon Keane as "The Bird" O'Donnell. The play...

  • Hut 42 (1968)
  • The Rain At The End Of The Summer (1968)
  • Big Maggie (1969)
  • The One-Way Ticket (1972)
  • Values (1973)
  • The Change In Mame Fadden (1973)
  • Letters of a Matchmaker (1975)
  • The Buds Of Ballybunion (1979)
  • The Chastitute (1981)
  • The Bodhran Makers (1986)
  • Moll (1991)
  • Durango: A Novel (1992)
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.