Christy Brown was born in Crumlin, Dublin, in 1932. One of thirteen surviving children, he suffered from cerebral palsy and was considered mentally disabled until he famously snatched a piece of chalk from his sister with his left foot.
His autobiography, My Left Foot (London, Secker & Warburg, 1954/New York, Simon & Schuster, 1955), was later expanded into the novel Down All The Days (Secker & Warburg/ New York, Stein & Day, 1970), and became an international best seller, being translated into fourteen languages.
There followed A Shadow on Summer (Secker & Warburg/Stein & Day, 1976); and the posthumous A Promising Career (Secker & Warburg, 1982)
He also published a number of poetry collections including Come Softly to My Wake (Secker & Warburg, 1971), published in America as Poems of Christy Brown (New York, Stein & Day, 1971); Background Music: Poems (Secker & Warburg/Stein & Day, 1973); Of Snails And Skylarks (Secker & Warburg,1978); and Wild Grow the Lilies (Secker & Warburg/Stein & Day, 1976). His posthumous The Collected Poems of Christy Brown was published by Secker & Warburg, 1982.
With his wife Mary Carr, he settled in Ballyheigue, Co Kerry, and also in Parbrook, Somerset, UK, where he died in 1981.
My Left Foot, with a screenplay by Shane Connaughton, was filmed by Jim Sheridan in 1989, with Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker as Christy and his mother.
A biography, Christy Brown: The Life That Inspired My Left Foot, by Georgina Louise Hambleton, was published by Mainstream Publishing, of London, in 2007.
Christy Brown at Wikipedia
The dark side of a poet that Hollywood didn’t show
Christy Brown at The National Library of Ireland