Andrew O'Hagan

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Andrew O'Hagan

Andrew O’Hagan is one of the most exciting contemporary writers in Britain today. His novel, The Illuminations, was long listed for the 2015 Booker Prize, following two previous nominations for Be Near Me in 2006 and Our Fathers in 1999. He has won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, among many others.

He is editor-at-large of the London Review of Books and visiting Professor of Writing at King’s College London. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

O’Hagan is also a relentless investigator and powerful writer of non-fiction, and often talks about the blurred lines between fiction and non-fiction writing. He says that ‘ghosting’ the autobiography of Julian Assange (in The Secret Life, 2017), for example, required all the skills of a novelist to penetrate and portray Assange’s bizarre world. When we write fiction, he says, we are in effect ‘ghosting’ on behalf of our characters, especially when writing in the first person. We have to understand our character’s world from the inside, just like any ghost-writer for a living person.

Andrew was born in Glasgow, grew up in North Ayrshire, studied at the University of Strathclyde, and now lives between London and Edinburgh. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books where, among many other pieces, his heart-tearing essay, The Tower, on the Grenfell fire, is published.

Andrew’s new novel Mayflies, published in 2020, is now out in paperback from Faber & Faber.