The Man Booker Prize

2004 - Alan Hollinghurst

Born: 26 May 1954, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England

Author's quote: "The worse they are the more they see beauty in each other."

Field: Novelist, Poetry

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By Alan Hollinghurst

About Alan Hollinghurst

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

Of English descent, Hollinghurst was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire on 26 May 1954, the only child of James Hollinghurst, a bank manager, and his wife, Elizabeth. He attended Canford School in Dorset.

Hollinghurst read English at Magdalen College, Oxford, from 1972 to 1979, graduating with a BA in 1975, and a MLitt in 1979. His thesis was on the works of Ronald Firbank, E. M. Forster and L. P. Hartley, three gay writers. While at Oxford he shared a house with Andrew Motion, and was awarded the Newdigate Prize for poetry in 1974, a year before Motion.

In the late 1970s he became a lecturer at Magdalen College, and then at Somerville College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1981 he moved on to lecture at University College London, and in 1982 he joined The Times Literary Supplement, where he was the paper's deputy editor from 1985 to 1990.

Hollinghurst is openly gay. He lives in London.

He won the 2004 Man Booker Prize for The Line of Beauty. His next novel, The Stranger's Child, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011.

He lives alone, explaining: "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."


The Swimming-Pool Library - Alan Hollinghurst

By A Customer

A young English gay man from privileged class meets octogenarian privileged English gay man in a cruisy public restroom and later agrees to read older man's diaries and consider writing his biography. The reader sees similarities and differences between the lives of sexually prolific(?) homosexuals whose sexually active years occurred before and after gay sex became legal in England. Lots of titillating descriptions of men's bodies and sassy turns of phrase. The structure of the novel is inspired. Treat yourself!


The Swimming-Pool Library - Alan Hollinghurst

By A Customer

A masterpiece of "gay" literature and a superb book by any standard, this baroque tale of decadence in fin-de-siecle London, is a good introduction to the work of Alan Hollinghurst, THE wordsmith of the late 20th century. Do read this book before reading "The Folding Star", Hollinghurst's masterpiece. While The Swimming Pool Library is very, very good, it is "The Folding Star" that will convince you of Hollinghurst's status among the greats of English literature.