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Julian Gough was born in London, to Tipperary parents. When he was seven, the family returned to Tipperary. He was educated by the Christian Brothers, back when throwing a boy across the room was considered healthful exercise for both parties. At university in Galway, he began writing and singing with the underground literary rock band Toasted Heretic. They released four albums, and had a top ten hit in Ireland in 1991 with ‘Galway and Los Angeles’, a song about not kissing Sinéad O’Connor.
His first novel, Juno & Juliet, was published in 2001. His second, Jude: Level 1, came six years later, and was described by the Sunday Tribune as possibly “the finest comic novel since Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman”. In the UK, it was shortlisted for the Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. Will Self, controversially, won. Gough – understandably miffed – kidnapped Will Self’s pig, and posted the ransom video on Youtube.
In 2007, his story ‘The Orphan and the Mob’ won the BBC National Short Story Prize – then the world’s largest annual prize for a single short story.
He also wrote the first short story ever printed in the Financial Times, ‘The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble’. In 2009, ‘The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble’ was broadcast as an acclaimed radio play on BBC Radio 4.
In early 2010, the Sunday Tribune chose Jude: Level 1 as their Irish Novel of the Decade.
His third novel, Jude in London, will be published by Old Street in September 2010.