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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 23:23 GMT 00:23 UK
Hollinghurst's rise to Booker glory
Alan Hollinghurst
Alan Hollinghurst studied at Oxford University
Alan Hollinghurst has made his name as one of the leading authors of gay fiction in the UK.

He was born in May 1954 in Stroud, Gloucestershire and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford.

He went on to lecture in English at Magdalen in the late 1970s, followed by Somerville College and Corpus Christi College.

In 1981 Hollinghurst become lecturer in English at the University of London before joining the Times Literary Supplement a year later.

Alan Hollinghurst's novel is intriguing, spicy and elegantly worded
Yusuf Nasrullah, Boston, USA

He was deputy editor of the Times Literary Supplement from 1982 to 1995 and was named one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists in 1993.

The Swimming-Pool Library, his debut novel, was published in 1988 and established Hollinghurst as one of the most promising new voices in the growing genre of gay fiction.

Hollinghurst's books
Confidential Chats with Boys (1982)
The Swimming-Pool Library (1988)
Bajazet [translator] (1991)
The Folding Star (1994)
New Writing 4 [co-editor] (1995)
The Spell (1998)
Three Novels/Ronald Firbank [editor] (2000)
The Line of Beauty (2004)

A vivid account of London gay life in the early 1980s, it was one of three recipients of the 1989 Somerset Maugham Award.

Author Edmund White called it "the best book on gay life yet written by an English author".

His 1994 follow-up novel, The Folding Star, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.

In the novel, the narrator, Edward Manners, develops an obsessive passion for his 17-year-old pupil.

It drew inevitable parallels from critics to Nabokov's Lolita, although not always favourably for Hollinghurst.

But Peter Kemp, of Times Literary Supplement, praised the novel, saying: "Even in its sexiest moments, it never loses its intellectual poise. Dry witticisms intersperse sweaty couplings."

Hollinghurst's third novel, The Spell, followed a civil servant whose life is turned upside down when he falls in love with a younger man and discovers Ecstasy.

Hollinghurst's translation of Racine's play Bajazet was first performed in 1990.

Hollinghurst currently lives in London.

Watch an interview with Alan Hollinghurst

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