The Nicotine Cat and Other People is a scrupulously truthful and wildly imaginative memoir by one of Ireland’s most singular poets and comic writers. Augustus Young darts through memories of his childhood in Cork, his working life in London and the life he now leads in a curious town on the French-Spanish border. His subjects include Father Dinneen’s wonderful Irish Dictionary, the philosophers Kierkegaard and David Hume, a Scottish artist called Welsh, Joab Comfort, who knows everything, and Alban Perfide, a surely imaginary novelist living out his own fiction. The Nicotine Cat and Other People is a wise book with a low centre of levity.
Young’s unwillingness to curry favour, which makes him an outsider in the literary world, adds spice to a wryly clever and sometimes touchingly sweet book. There’s honey in the wasp – Brian Lynch.
About the Author
Augustus Young is the pen name of James Hogan, who was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1943. As a renowned epidemiologist and adviser to health authorities, Hogan spent most of his working life in London. As Augustus Young, he is the author of eight books of poetry. Light Years (London Magazine Editions / Menard Press, 2002), his first full length work in prose, re-enacts his literary development as a published poet from childhood days in Cork up to 1960s London.