O'Connor, Frank, 1903-1966

Alternative names
Birth 1903-09-17
Death 1966-03-10
Irish (Republic of Ireland)

Biographical notes:

Michael Francis O'Donovan was born into poverty in Cork, Ireland; unable to afford schooling, he was largely self-educated, and wrote extensively as a child. He joined the Irish Republican Army as a teenager, fought for Irish independence and later for Ulster's inclusion in the Republic, and was arrested and jailed as a result. He found work as a librarian, began publishing stories, and adopted the pen name Frank O'Connor, from his middle name and his beloved mother's maiden name. He later served as director of the Abbey Theatre, working closely with William Butler Yeats, and eventually came to the United States, where he taught at Harvard, Northwestern, and Stanford. A talented and prolific writer, he wrote plays, poetry, translations, and literary criticism, but is best known for his splendid short stories, which often use domestic settings to explore conflict; they are realistic, insightful, and eminently readable.

From the description of Frank O'Connor letters to Robert Greacen, circa 1946. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 68815454

Frank O'Connor (1903-1966) was an Irish author best known for his short stories and memoirs.

From the guide to the Frank O'Connor Papers, 1927-1972, (Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida)

Michael O'Donovan, pen name Frank O'Connor, was born in Ireland where he spent most of his life. He predominantly wrote short stories.

From the description of Papers, 1942-[196-]. (University of New Mexico-Main Campus). WorldCat record id: 32150932

Michael O'Donovan was born in Cork, Ireland. He wrote under the name Frank O'Connor and his short stories have been admired for their oral quality and portrayals of Irish life. His many collections include "Guests of the Nation" (1931), "Bones of Contention and Other Stories" (1936) and "A Set of Variations" (1969). He also published poetry, criticism and translations of old Irish literature from the Gaelic. O'Donovan also worked as a librarian and was Director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

From the description of Michael O'Donovan collection. [ca1932-1965]. (University of Victoria Libraries). WorldCat record id: 651603415

Michael John 0'Donovan, who wrote under the name Frank O'Connor, was born in 1903, in Cork, Ireland, and died of a heart attack on March 10, 1966 in Dublin, Ireland. Primarily known for his writing, his career included work as a librarian and theatre director. He taught at Harvard University, Northwestern University, and Stanford University. He received a Doctor of Letters from Dublin University and was associated with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) from 1921-1923.

From the description of Frank O'Connor papers dealing with autobiography, circa 1961. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 497927320

Irish author.

O'Connor is known primarily for his short stories, but he produced many other works as well.

From the description of Frank O'Connor Collection, 1936-1967. (Boston College). WorldCat record id: 34112576

Michael O'Donovan, pen name Frank O'Connor, was born in Ireland in 1903. He was an only child who grew up in the slums of Cork. To escape poverty, O'Donovan left home at a young age to pursue a career as a writer.

In the late 1930s, he married the actress Evelyn Bowen. In 1939 a son, Myles, was born. A year later Evelyn gave birth to a daughter, Liadain. Owen Standish, the couple's third child was born in 1946.

While working in England in 1942 Michael met Joan (last name unknown), a young single teacher. The two began a long and rocky relationship. In 1945, Joan gave birth to a son, Oliver. O'Donovan was the father.

Under the strain of his relationship with Joan, his and Evelyn's marriage deteriorated. During 1951 the couple divorced. In 1953 he married Harriet Rich, who was twenty years his junior. The couple had a daughter, Hallie Og in 1958. O'Donovan died in Dublin in 1966.

From the guide to the Frank O'Connor Papers, 1942-[196-], (University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research.)


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  • Authors, Irish--20th century--Correspondence
  • English literature--Irish authors
  • Irish literature
  • Short stories, Irish
  • Authors, Irish--20th century--Manuscripts
  • English literature--Irish authors--20th century
  • English fiction--Irish authors
  • American literature--20th century
  • Authors, Irish--20th century
  • Male authors--20th century--Correspondence


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  • Ireland (as recorded)
  • Ireland (as recorded)