The Writers Write Interview – Alan Hollinghurst


Writers Write creates writing resources, shares writing tips, and interviews authors. In this post, we share our interview with Alan Hollinghurst.

Alan Hollinghurst 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.

The Writers Write Interview With Alan Hollinghurst

He was a charming guest. We learnt that he chooses his titles as he writes. The titles of his novels are varied, and suggestive of secrets held in the book. He started writing ‘rather pretentious poetry’ as a child and hasn’t written poetry since becoming a novelist. His favourite novel of the ones he has written is The Spell, the book that has had the least success of the five.

Alan Hollinghurst’s Top Seven Writing Tips

  1. Know where you’re going before you start.
  2. Don’t waste time but take your time.
  3. Keep a notebook at all times.
  4. Read. Read. Read.
  5. Don’t be disheartened by early criticism.
  6. If possible, have an inescapable writing routine.
  7. Don’t over define your characters. Let the reader imagine them.

Alan Hollinghurst’s Five Favourite Writers

  1. Henry James
  2. Alice Munro
  3. Lord Tennyson
  4. Anton Chekhov
  5. Evelyn Waugh

Hollinghurst was born 26 May 1954. He is the author of five novels. He won the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Line of Beauty. His next novel, The Stranger’s Child, was long listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2011.

Hollinghurst read English at Magdalen College, Oxford. He became a lecturer at Magdalen College, and then at Somerville College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1982 he joined The Times Literary Supplement and later became the paper’s deputy editor from 1985 to 1990.

Follow this link for more photographs from the intimate event.

Interviewer: Amanda Patterson

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