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Alan Hollinghurst Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Swimming-Pool Library (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Folding Star (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Spell (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Line of Beauty (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stranger's Child (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sparsholt Affair (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Confidential Chats with Boys (1982)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Poems (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

About Alan Hollinghurst

A British author of Historical fiction, Alan Hollinghurst is well-known for writing engaging and detailed novels. Researching each and every one of his books, he makes sure every one of them is well thought out, making them authentic and genuine. Putting a lot of thought into every one of his stories, he makes sure that they’re grounded and genuine, providing readers with a window into the past. Setting himself apart from other writers in his field, he lends his work a real feeling of authenticity that immerses the reader.

His books take readers on a journey back into the past, allowing them to experience what it was actually like back then. Spending time at university studying, he would use his learning to help create far more informed and intricately written novels. Knowing his audience both inside and out, he would use his knowledge to help fully establish himself as a writer with something to say. Pushing the genre forwards in new and interesting directions, he’s managed to create a style and tone that identifiably his own.

Characters are also an area where he excels, writing protagonists that feel wholly believable, as they also inhabit the past. Fitting into each of his stories perfectly, his stories are well paced, as they essentially come to life upon the page for the reader. Making sure each of his stories were entertaining and accessible too, his books have managed to work on every level. And his work will carry on being released for many years to come yet, as he carries on writing and working with lots more on the horizon.

Early and Personal Life

Born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in the United Kingdom on the 26th of May in 1954, he was the only child to James Hollinghurst. His father, a bank manager, would serve in the Second World War as an RAF pilot, while Elizabeth was his wife and Alan’s mother. Attending Canford School in Dorset, he would later go on to study English at the Magdalen College in Oxford, gaining his BA in 1975.

Later he also received his MLitt in 1979, while he would share a house with the poet laureate Andrew Motion during his time at Oxford. He would himself lecture at Magdalen, before going on to lecture at Somerville, Corpus Christi, and the UCL in 1981. Living in London with his partner Paul Mendez, he spends long periods isolated when looking to write, with more to come in the future.

Writing Career

The first book Alan Hollinghurst would write was titled ‘Confidential Chats with Boys,’ which came out in 1982. This book would be a collection of some of his stories, and he would go on to publish a collection of poems titled ‘Poems’ in 1988. It would also be this year, in 1988, that he’d release his first full novel, which was titled ‘The Swimming-Pool Library,’ which was a stand-alone.

He’d go on to write a number of other stand-alone titles as well, along with winning several awards for his work too. These awards would include ‘The James Tait Black Memorial Prize,’ along with being shortlisted for a ‘Booker Prize’ in 1994. He would also work for many different and highly prestigious outlets, such as ‘The Times Literary Supplement,’ which he’d serves as deputy editor between 1985 to 1990.

The Folding Star

Arriving on the literary scene back in 1994, this stand-alone piece of fiction would have a considerable amount of impact upon its release. Winning the ‘James Tait Prize,’ it was also considered to be a moral winner of Booker Prize, despite not winning overall as it apparently scandalized the judges with some of its sex scenes. Making a powerful impact when it was first released, the book has gone on to find countless readers worldwide to this very day.

Arriving in a small Flemish town, the British man Edward Manners is there to teach English, but soon falls for one of his students, a seventeen year-old boy named Luc Altidore. An old lover of Edward’s dies of AIDS during his time there, as Edward goes on to meet a series of peculiar characters within the town. From Cherif, a Moroccan born within Paris who frequents the gay bar there, to Matt, an eccentric who sells pornographic material, and Paul Echevin, director of the local museum. With an interwoven narrative, everything comes together slowly, as Edward navigates his way through this colorful world.

It’s an engaging novel that’s extremely well-written, with plenty for the reader to invest in from the very outset. Dealing with some serious themes too, it’s definitely got a lot of heart as well, making it work on multiple different levels. With plenty of humor also, the characters feel wholly real, as they really do manage to fully inhabit the story as a whole overall.

The Sparsholt Affair

Another massive award winner, this book would also go on to be critically acclaimed in its own right with critics singing its praises. Published in 2017 on the 26th of September through the ‘Picador’ imprint, it would be a later work of Alan Hollinghurst’s. A stand-alone story as well, it’s not a part of any overall series, and can easily be read on its own with it being highly accessible.

Taking place in 1940 during the Second World War, this sees David Sparsholt heading to Oxford to study in engineering there. Set on joining the Royal Air Force as a pilot, he’s young, handsome, and charismatic, and he has a powerful effect upon Evert Dax, a future novelist who’s also the son of another successful author. While the Blitz is ongoing beyond the walls of Oxford, they all exist there as liaisons begin to take place and relationships form. And one of these relationships forms between Evert and David, as they form a connection that will last for years, despite their different backgrounds.

The story itself is powerfully told, and it makes for an extremely heartfelt story that again works in so many different ways. Providing readers with a clear window into the past, it definitely captures a moment in time and holds it there for the audience. Moving along with a real sense of momentum, the book has so much to it, making it another excellent example of Alan Hollinghurst doing what he does best.

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