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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 69)
Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Writer, translator
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford
(BA, MLitt)
Period 1975–
Genre Novel, poem, short story
Notable works The Swimming Pool Library
The Folding Star
The Spell
The Line of Beauty
The Stranger's Child
The Sparsholt Affair
Notable awards Newdigate 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

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

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. 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.


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.

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

List of works


  • 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 and Faber, 1978 ISBN: 978-0571111435
  • Confidential Chats with Boys, Oxford: Sycamore Press 1982 (based on the book Confidential Chats with Boys by William Lee Howard, MD., 1911, Sydney, Australia)
  • "Mud" (London Review of Books, Vol. 4, No. 19, 21 October 1982)

Short stories

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


  • The Swimming-Pool Library, 1988 ISBN: 978-0679722564
  • The Folding Star, 1994 ISBN: 978-0099476917
  • The Spell, 1998 ISBN: 978-0099276944
  • The Line of Beauty, 2004 ISBN: 978-0330483216
  • The Stranger's Child, 2011 ISBN: 978-0330483278
  • The Sparsholt Affair, 2017 ISBN: 978-1447208228


  • Bajazet by Jean Racine, Chatto & Windus, 1991 ISBN: 978-0701138530
  • Bérénice and Bajazet by Jean Racine, Faber and Faber, 2012 ISBN: 978-0571299089

As editor


  • Three Novels by Ronald Firbank, 2000 ISBN: 978-0141182193

Awards and honours

  • 1974: Newdigate Prize
  • 1989: Somerset Maugham Award, for The Swimming Pool Library
  • 1994: James Tait Black Memorial Prize, for The Folding Star
  • 2004: Booker Prize, for The Line of Beauty
  • 2011: Booker Prize, longlist for The Stranger's Child
  • 2011: Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle

Personal life

Hollinghurst is gay and lives in London. Although he now lives with his partner Paul Mendez, 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."

See also

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