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James Plunkett Kelly, or James Plunkett (21 May 1920 - 28 May 2003), Irish novelist, playwright, broadcaster. Born in 1920 in Dublin's inner city, was the son of a World War I veteran who was a member of Jim Larkin's Irish Transport and General Workers Union, which had a life-long impact on the young writer. Plunkett drew on his city centre working-class background, and his commitment to the labour movement, as the background for his fiction. Strumpet City is acknowledged as his masterpiece. His other novels include Farewell Companions, The Gems She Wore and The Circus Animals. He was an accomplished short story writer and also wrote for radio and for the theatre. During the 1960s, Plunkett worked as a producer at Telefis Eireann. He won two Jacob's Awards, in 1965 and 1969, for his TV productions. He was a member of Aosdana. President of Irish Academy of Letters.
`Plunkett's seminal book provided a graphic depiction of a major event in a flawed society, which was ultimately a conflict between two sets of values - the values of the slum, interdependence and collective solidarity versus the values of the quick buck' -- SIPTU President, Jack O'Connor `Many studies have been written about the quest for the Great American Novel. Anyone seeking its Irish equivalent need search no further.' Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times If there is one novel that bares the soul of Dublin as much as the 'life-in-one-day'of Ulysses, it is James Plunkett's Strumpet City. -- Donal O'Donoghue * RTE *