Alan Hollinghurst was born in 1954 in Stroud, Gloucestershire. He studied English at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was friends with Andrew Motion, England's poet laureate since 1999. Hollinghurst earned an MA on the work of Ronald Firbank, EM Forster and LP Hartley, three gay writers.
A gay English writer himself, Hollinghurst's novels largely concern the lives of uninhibitedly homosexual protagonists in Britain. Hollinghurst's style betrays influences of high literary authors such as Henry James..
His first novel, The Swimming Pool Library (1988) won the Somerset Maugham prize; The Folding Star 1994) won the James Tait Black Memorial prize; and The Known World (2004) won the Booker Prize.
The Known World, 2004