Ian Holding

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Ian Holding (born 29 March 1978) is a prominent Caucasian Zimbabwean writer widely regarded as being at the forefront of a new generation of Zimbabwean authors and commentators on contemporary Zimbabwe.[1] His first novel, Unfeeling was critically acclaimed on publication in the United Kingdom in 2005, and was one of the first fictional attempts dealing with the complex political and social situation in Zimbabwe,[2] in particular the country's controversial Land Reform Programme. According to prominent South African commentator and academic, Michiel Heyns, "one of the achievements of this remarkable novel is to obtrude, without preaching or moralising, a much more thoughtful and critical assessment of power relations in Zimbabwe."[3] The novel went on to be shortlisted for the 2006 Dylan Thomas Prize, the United Kingdom's wealthiest literary prize for writers,[4] and was named as "One of the Year's Best Books" by both Newsweek and The Globe & Mail.

Holding's second novel, Of Beasts and Beings (Simon & Schuster), an allegory on the nature of "white guilt" and colonialism was released in August 2010 and received favourable reviews for its blend of realism, postmodernism and metafictional techniques. The influential American writer Alice Sebold described the novel as "merciless, poetic and beautiful". The novel was released as one of the inaugural titles of a new imprint of the American publisher Europa Editions in November 2011.

In addition to being a Hawthornden Fellow, Ian Holding frequently contributes articles and essays to prominent journals and newspapers and is also a noted short-story writer.

Holding lives in his native Harare, Zimbabwe.


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