Brown, Christy

Christy Brown
Christy Brown. Image source

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