James Plunkett (James Plunkett Kelly) was born in Dublin in 1920.
As well as fiction, he wrote radio and television features, and film scripts. Big Jim (Dublin, O’Donnell, 1955), on the life of the trade unionist Jim Larkin, was commissioned by Radio Éireann.
His main work includes the short story collections The Trusting and the Maimed (New York, Devin-Adair, 1955/London, Hutchinson, 1959); and Collected Short Stories (Dublin, Poolebeg, 1977). His novels are the epic Strumpet City (London, Hutchinson, 1969); Farewell Companions (London, Hutchinson, 1977).; and The Circus Animals (London, Hutchinson, 1990).
His essay collections include The Gems She Wore: A Book of Irish Places (Hutchinson, 1972/Holt Rhinehart Winston, 1973); and The Boy on the Back Wall.(Dublin, Poolbeg, 1987)
His play is The Risen People (Co-Op Books, Dublin, 1978).
A member of Aosdána, he lived in Dublin. He died on May 28, 2003.