November 1-15, 2004 Edition




LONDON/10/20/04—Acclaimed novelist Alan Hollinghurst got lucky for the second time on October 19. He won the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Hollinghurst was awarded the 2004 prize for his fourth novel, The Line of Beauty, published by Picador. The British-born writer was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994 for his novel, The Folding Star.

Alan Hollinghurst’s writing has been described as “stylish and poised, with generous cadences of sorrow and delight”. The Line of Beauty follows the story of Nicholas Guest, a young innocent who gets caught up in the triumphalist, opulent world of the 80s as lived by Gerald Fedden, the Tory MP with whom he lodges and his circle. A wonderfully observed, effortless novel, The Line of Beauty has been described as a “masterpiece.”

Chair of the judges, The Rt. Hon. Chris Smith MP, made the announcement at the awards dinner at the Royal Horticultural Halls, Westminster, which was broadcast live on BBC TWO and BBC FOUR. Harvey McGrath, Chairman of Man Group plc, presented Alan Hollinghurst with a cheque for £50,000.

The Rt. Hon. Chris Smith MP comments, “This was an incredibly difficult and close decision. It has resulted in a winning novel that is exciting, brilliantly written and gets deep under the skin of the Thatcherite 80s. The search for love, sex and beauty is rarely this exquisitely done.”

Over and above his prize of £50,000, Alan Hollinghurst is guaranteed an increase in sales and recognition worldwide. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer-bound edition of their book.

The judging panel for the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is: The Rt. Hon. Chris Smith MP (Chair); novelist, Tibor Fischer; writer and academic, Robert Macfarlane; journalist and writer, Rowan Pelling and literary editor of The Economist, Fiammetta Rocco.

The Winner

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Picador, £16.99

“Hollinghurst’s writing has a clarity, an unforced quality contained within the boundaries of a cool emotional reticence.” —Peter Bradshaw, New Statesman

It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine. As the boom-years of the mid-80s unfold, Nick, an innocent in matters of politics and money, becomes caught up in the Feddens’ world, with its grand parties, its holidays in the Dordogne, its parade of monsters both comic and threatening. In an era of endless possibility, Nick finds himself able to pursue his own private obsession, with beauty – a prize as compelling to him as power and riches are to his friends. An affair with a young black clerk gives him his first experience of romance; but it is a later affair, with a beautiful millionaire, that will change his life more drastically and bring into question the larger fantasies of a ruthless decade.

Alan Hollinghurst, 50, was born in May 1954 in Gloucestershire.

He studied and then taught English at Oxford. His previous novels are The Swimming-Pool Library (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), The Folding Star (shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994 and winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize) and The Spell.

For several years he was the Deputy Editor of the Times Literary Supplement and was one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists in 1993.

Alan Hollinghurst lives in London. For more information, visit