|Born||Hari Mohan Nath Kunzru
1969 (age 47–48)
London, United Kingdom
|Ethnicity||British Indian of Kashmiri Pandit origin|
|Education||BA in English Language and Literature
MA in Philosophy and Literature
|Alma mater||Wadham College, Oxford
|Notable works||Gods without Men|
Hari Mohan Nath Kunzru (born 1969) is a British Indian novelist and journalist of Kashmiri Pandit origin, author of the novels The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions and Gods Without Men. His work has been translated into twenty languages.
Kunzru was born in London and grew up in Essex to a Kashmiri Pandit father and a British Anglican Christian mother. He was educated at Bancroft's School, Essex. He studied English at Wadham College, Oxford, then gained an MA in Philosophy and Literature from University of Warwick. In his teens, Kunzru decided that he did not believe in formal religion or God, and is "opposed to how religion is used to police people."
From 1995 to 1997 he worked on Wired UK. Since 1998, he has worked as a travel journalist, writing for such newspapers as The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, was travel correspondent for Time Out magazine, and worked as a TV presenter interviewing artists for the Sky TV electronic arts programme The Lounge. From 1999–2004 he was also music editor of Wallpaper* magazine and since 1995 he has been a contributing editor to Mute, the culture and technology magazine. His first novel, The Impressionist (2003), had a £1 million-plus advance and was well received critically with excellent sales. His second novel, Transmission, was published in the summer of 2004. In 2005 he published the short story collection Noise. His third novel, My Revolutions, was published in August 2007. His fourth novel, Gods Without Men, was released in August 2011. Set in the American south-west, it is a fractured story about multiple characters across time. It has been compared to David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.
Although he was also awarded The John Llewellyn Rhys prize for writers under 35, the second oldest literary prize in the UK, he turned it down on the grounds that it was backed by the Mail on Sunday whose "hostility towards black and Asian people" he felt was unacceptable. In a statement read out on his behalf, he stated, "As the child of an immigrant, I am only too aware of the poisonous effect of the Mail's editorial line... The atmosphere of prejudice it fosters translates into violence, and I have no wish to profit from it." He further went on to recommend that the award money be donated to the charity Refugee Council.
He is Deputy President of English PEN.
In 2012 at the Jaipur Literature Festival he, along with three other authors, Ruchir Joshi, Jeet Thayil and Amitava Kumar, risked arrest by reading excerpts from Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which remains unpublished in India due to fear of controversy. Kunzru later wrote, "Our intention was not to offend anyone's religious sensibilities, but to give a voice to a writer who had been silenced by a death threat". The reading drew sharp criticism from Muslim groups as being a deliberately provocative move to gain publicity for the four authors. Kunzru himself admitted in an interview that he was asked to leave by the festival organizers as his presence was likely to "inflame an already volatile situation."
- 1999: The Observer Young Travel Writer of the Year
- 2002: Betty Trask Award, The Impressionist
- 2003: Somerset Maugham Award, The Impressionist
- 2003: Granta "Best of Young British Novelists" (one of twenty)
- 2005: New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Transmission
- 2005: Lire "50 écrivains pour demain"
- 2008: New York Public Library Fellow, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
- 2014: Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
- 2003. The Impressionist. London: Penguin.
- 2005. Noise. London: Penguin.
- 2005. Transmission. London: Penguin.
- 2007. My Revolutions. London: Penguin.
- 2011. Gods Without Men. London: Penguin.
- 2013. Memory Palace. London: V&A
- 2014. Twice Upon a Time: Listening to New York. New York: Atavist
- David Robinson. "Interview: Hari Kunzru, author", scotsman.com, 29 July 2011
- Romig, Rollo (13 March 2012). "Staring into the Void with Hari Kunzru". New York City. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Silverman, Jacob (9 March 2012). "Author Hari Kunzru on the culture wars, meth, and his ambitious new novel,'Gods Without Men'". chelsea, USA. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Hodgekinson, Ted (10 March 2012). "Interview: Hari Kunzru". granta.com. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Oxfam: Ox-Tales
- Singh, Akhilesh Kumar; Chowdhury, Shreya Roy (23 January 2012). "Salman Rushdie shadow on Jaipur Literature Festival: 4 authors who read from 'The Satanic Verses' sent packing". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Kunzru, Hari (22 January 2012). "Why I quoted from The Satanic Verses". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Salman Rushdie shadow on Jaipur Literature Festival: 4 authors who read from 'The Satanic Verses' sent packing, Times of India, Jan 23, 2012
- Official website
- Hari Kunzru at British Council: Literature
- "Libya's Reluctant Spokesman: Hari Kunzru interviews Hisham Matar" – Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics
- Video of Hari Kunzru on Sky TV
- Podcast of Hari Kunzru discussing "My Revolutions" at the Shanghai International Literary Festival
- Podcast of Hari Kunzru reading from "My Revolutions" at writLOUD, London