Alan Hollinghurst

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Alan Hollinghurst
Alan Hollinghurst at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Alan Hollinghurst at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Born (1954-05-26) 26 May 1954 (age 68)
Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
OccupationWriter, translator
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford
(BA, MLitt)
GenreNovel, poem, short story
Notable worksThe Swimming Pool Library
The Folding Star
The Spell
The Line of Beauty
The Stranger's Child
The Sparsholt Affair
Notable awardsNewdigate Prize
Stonewall Book Award
Somerset Maugham Award
James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Booker Prize

Alan James Hollinghurst FRSL (born 26 May 1954) is an English novelist, poet, short story writer and translator. He won the 1989 Somerset Maugham Award, the 1994 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the 2004 Booker Prize.

Early life and education[edit]

Hollinghurst was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, only child of bank manager James Hollinghurst, who served in the RAF in the Second World War,[1] and his wife, Elizabeth.[2][3] He attended Dorset's Canford School.[4]

He studied English at Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving a BA in 1975 and MLitt in 1979. His thesis was on works by three gay writers: Firbank, Forster and Hartley.[5][6] He house-shared with future poet laureate Andrew Motion at Oxford, and was awarded poetry's Newdigate Prize, a year before Motion.

In the late 1970s he lectured at Magdalen, then at Somerville and Corpus Christi. In 1981 he lectured at UCL, and in 1982 joined The Times Literary Supplement, serving as deputy editor: 1985–90.[7][8]


Hollinghurst discussed his early life and literary influences at length in a rare interview at home in London, published in The James White Review in 1997–98.[9]

He won the 2004 Booker Prize for The Line of Beauty.[10] His next novel, The Stranger's Child, made the 2011 Booker Prize longlist.[11]

List of works[edit]


  • Isherwood is at Santa Monica (Sycamore Broadsheet 22: two poems, hand-printed on a single folded sheet), Oxford: Sycamore Press 1975
  • Poetry Introduction 4 (ten poems: "Over the Wall", "Nightfall", "Survey", "Christmas Day at Home", "The Drowned Field", "Alonso", "Isherwood is at Santa Monica", "Ben Dancing at Wayland's Smithy", "Convalescence in Lower Largo", "The Well"), Faber, 1978
  • Confidential Chats with Boys, Oxford: Sycamore Press 1982 (based on the book Confidential Chats with Boys by William Lee Howard, MD., 1911, Sydney, Australia)[12]
  • "Mud" (London Review of Books, Vol. 4, No. 19, 21 October 1982)

Short stories[edit]

  • A Thieving Boy (Firebird 2: Writing Today, Penguin, 1983)
  • Sharps and Flats (Granta 43, 1993) Was incorporated into The Folding Star
  • Highlights (Granta 100, 2007)


Alan Hollinghurst talks about his novel The Stranger's Child on Bookbits radio.


  • Bajazet by Jean Racine, 1991
  • Bérénice by Jean Racine, 2012

As editor[edit]

Awards and honours[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Hollinghurst is gay[13][1][10] and lives in London.[14] Although he now lives with his partner Paul Mendez,[15] Hollinghurst previously said: "I'm not at all easy to live with. I wish I could integrate writing into ordinary social life, but I don't seem to be able to. I could when I started [writing]. I suppose I had more energy then. Now I have to isolate myself for long periods."[16]


  1. ^ a b Moss, Stephen (21 October 2004). "'I Don't Make Moral Judgments': Interview with Alan Hollinghurst, winner of the 2004 Booker prize". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Much as Chris Smith, the chairman of the Booker judges, tries to gainsay the fact, Hollinghurst is a gay novelist. This is a gay novel.
  2. ^ Harvey, Giles (14 March 2018). "The Evolution of One of Fiction's Gay Liberators". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  3. ^ Tonkin, Boyd; Jury, Louise (20 October 2004). "A beautiful victory at the Booker for tale of gay love in Thatcherite". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ Andrew Anthony, "Alan Hollinghurst: The slow-motion novelist delivers", The Guardian, 11 June 2011.
  5. ^ Rose, Peter (14 May 2005). "The Hollinghurst line". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  6. ^ "". 13 November 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Hollinghurst's rise to Booker glory". BBC News. 19 October 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  8. ^ Johnson, Allan (2014). Alan Hollinghurst and the Vitality of Influence. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 62. ISBN 978-1349472505.
  9. ^ Galligan, David. "Beneath the Surface of The Swimming-Pool Library: An Interview with Alan Hollinghurst", The James White Review 14.3 (Fall 1997): 1–7, ; and "On Hampstead Heath: An Interview with Alan Hollinghurst", The James White Review 15.1 (Winter 1998): 10–13.
  10. ^ a b c "Alan Hollinghurst wins prestigious Booker Prize". The Advocate. 21 October 2004. Retrieved 8 February 2015. Out British author Alan Hollinghurst has won the Booker Prize...
  11. ^ a b "Man Booker Prize 2011 longlist announced". The Booker Prize Foundation. Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  12. ^ Mendelssohn, Michèle (2016). "Poetry, Parody, Porn and Prose". Alan Hollinghurst: Writing Under the Influence: 40–45. doi:10.7228/manchester/9780719097171.003.0004. ISBN 9781526100351 – via Manchester University Press.
  13. ^ Hahn, Lorraine (11 May 2005). "Alan Hollinghurst TalkAsia Interview Transcript". TalkAsia. CNN. Retrieved 28 January 2009. I only chafe at the 'gay writer' tag if it's thought to describe everything that's interesting about my books.
  14. ^ Tillyard, Stella (November 2005). "Interview: Alan Hollinghurst". Prospect. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
  15. ^ Law, Katie (28 April 2020). "From Jehovah's Witness to gay sex worker to novelist: the extraordinary life story of Paul Mendez". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  16. ^ Gekoski, Rick (7 July 2011). "Writing is bad for you". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2011.

External links[edit]