He was born the same year as me- 1954, in England. Alan Hollinghurst grew up with a keen interest in music, literature & architecture. His first ambition was to be a poet, but instead he has written 4 novels: The Swimming Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell, & the Booker Prize winning- The Line Of Beauty (He is the first openly gay person to win the Booker), all highly acclaimed books about life in the 1980s, homosexuality, AIDS & Margaret Thatcher.
On being labeled a “gay writer” Hollinghurst states: “Well the day after the Booker, that was of course the thing that tabloid headlines picked on- ‘Gay novel wins Booker’. One of them even said, ‘Gay sex wins Booker,’ which I thought, if only it was that easy. But that obviously is a point of interest about this book & about the other books that I've written. It now rather surprises me because I'm so used to the fact that that's where I'm writing from as it were. I think from the start I always wanted to write from a presupposition of the gay position of the narrator. & to take that for granted as most novels... it's taken for granted that they're from the heterosexual position, but having done that to go on to talk about all sorts of other things. So I only chafe at the ‘gay writer’ tag if it's thought to describe everything that's interesting about my books. Because actually the lives of gay people aren't just about being gay, they're about all their other human interests.”
"From the start I've tried to write books which began from a presumption of the gayness of the narrative position. To write about gay life from a gay perspective unapologetically & as naturally as most novels are written from a heterosexual position. When I started writing, that seemed a rather urgent & interesting thing to do. It hadn't really been done."
I have his novel from last year- The Stranger's Child, short listed for the 2011 Booker Prize, on my side of the bed, but I have yet to crack it. Hollinghurst turns 58 today. He lives in London with all his awards.