A Letter Marked Personal is J.P. Donleavy's last novel, completed in 2007. Set in New York, it relates the interior monologue of forty-nine-year-old Nathan Langriesh Johnson, the founder of a successful lingerie company.
A Letter Marked Personal is J.P. Donleavy's last novel, completed in 2007. Set in New York, it relates the interior monologue of forty-nine-year-old Nathan Langriesh Johnson, the founder of a successful lingerie company.Nathan began his career as a door-to-door lingerie salesman, his wares consisting of imitations of European designs. Now `a confirmed social climber', Nathan distracts himself with remembered or imagined comments by his wife, Iowa the model, Reginald the accountant and Hal the realtor, and reminisces about the struggle before his business took off.
A letter marked `personal' arrives at Nathan's high-rise Manhattan apartment, and is opened by `the wife': his life unravels. This portrait of a flawed sycophant is full of Donleavy's wit and insight. Tracing a journey from Nathan's aspirational greed to his realization of the pointlessness of his vanity, this is a poignant story of a man at the end of his days, reflecting upon the futility of human wishes
J.P. `Mike' Donleavy (1926-2017) wrote more than twenty books after The Ginger Man, including The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (1968), A Fairy Tale of New York (1973), The Onion Eaters (1971) and Schultz (1979) (all available as eBooks from Lilliput), along with several works of non-fiction such as The Unexpurgated Code: A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners (1975). He lived along the shores of Lough Owel near Mullingar in County Westmeath.