Doyle, John 1957-

views updated

Doyle, John 1957-

PERSONAL:

Born 1957, in Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Agent—Bukowski Agency, 14 Prince Arthur Ave., Ste. 202, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1A9, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Globe and Mail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, critic, 1997—, columnist, 2000—.

WRITINGS:

A Great Feast of Light: Growing Up Irish in the Television Age (memoir), Doubleday Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including Elle Canada, En Route, Books in Canada, Irish Times, and Toronto Star.

SIDELIGHTS:

John Doyle, a cultural critic and columnist with the Toronto Globe and Mail, grew up in Ireland where his Catholic education was tempered by his exposure to television, beginning in 1962, when his family purchased their first set. Irish state-run television came into being on the last day of 1961. Doyle's A Great Feast of Light: Growing Up Irish in the Television Age is a recollection of that time of discovery, which influenced his life choices, and of the television-inspired evolution of Ireland from the past to modernity. Doyle was a child in a village with very definite borders, and television took him beyond the confines of religion, sexual prohibition, and poverty.

Doyle's narrative reveals his love of American television, including Westerns, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., I Love Lucy, The Donna Reed Show, Get Smart, The Muppet Show, and Starsky and Hutch. He writes of his hero-worship of long-haired soccer star George Best and his fascination with Monty Python's Flying Circus. A theme of Upstairs, Downstairs was Irish anger at English rule in the north. Doyle recalls seeing on television coverage of Bloody Sunday, the 1972 massacre of more than a dozen people in Derry, which moved his mother and other Dubliners (the family had moved to Dublin) to the streets to destroy the British embassy.

In reviewing the memoir for CBC.ca, Greg Kelly wrote: "Unlike many memoirists (and some novelists), Doyle doesn't splash the wounds of his childhood across the page. They are there; they serve the story, but aren't themselves the story. A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: "Doyle writes with fine Hibernian garrulity and ease, not a bother on him. For an Irish narrative, he's yer fella."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Doyle, John, A Great Feast of Light: Growing Up Irish in the Television Age, Doubleday Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

PERIODICALS

Biography, winter, 2006, Elizabeth Grove-White, review of A Great Feast of Light, p. 211.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2006, review of A Great Feast of Light, p. 1110.

Library Journal, January 1, 2007, Felicity D. Walsh, review of A Great Feast of Light, p. 118.

Publishers Weekly, October 23, 2006, review of A Great Feast of Light, p. 42.

ONLINE

CBC.ca,http://www.cbc.ca/ (March 17, 2006), Greg Kelly, review of A Great Feast of Light.