Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

English Literature



To understand the context of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, you need some background to the writer and an understanding of how Roddy Doyle’s view of the world influences the novel.

Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin, Ireland, on May 8th, 1958. He was brought up north of Dublin in a working-class suburb of Kilbarrack.

He attended St. Fintan's Christian Brothers School in Sutton. Doyle studied English and Geography at University College, Dublin. After graduating, he returned to Kilbarrack and began teaching at Greendale Community School.

In 1978 Doyle joined the Irish Socialist Party and remained a member until 1982.

Doyle emerged among a group of young Irish writers during the 1980s, to become one of the most popular Irish novelists of his era. His Barrytown trilogy—The Commitments (1987), The Snapper (1990), and The Van (1991)—focuses on a working-class Irish community.

His novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha won the Booker Prize in 1993, and Doyle left his teaching job to focus on writing full-time.

Roddy Doyle can be classed as a success story because he started life living in poverty, but went to University and became a very successful writer.



Revision Map

Revision Map

Get some direction with a Bitesize revision map

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.