Andrew O'Hagan

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Full name: Andrew O'Hagan

Area of interest: Contemporary Culture and Society

Journals/Organisation: The Daily Telegraph


Personal website:

Website: / Andrew O'Hagan

Blog: / Andrew O'Hagan

Representation: British Council



About: Author and a former Telegraph columnist, now writes infrequent comment pieces

Education: University of Strathclyde: English

Career: After graduation joined staff of London Review of Books; in 1995 published his first book; in 2001 named as UNICEF's UK Goodwill Ambassador

Current position/role: regular column for the Telegraph ended August 2008

  • also writes/written for:

Other roles/Main role: Author, L.R.B. contributing editor, writes for Granta; Unicef Goodwill Ambassodor

Other activities:



Broadcast media:

Video: The Orwell Lecture 2008 (VIDEOS) - Andrew O'Hagan, award-winning writer and Orwell Trustee, gives the 2008 Orwell Memorial Lecture on 'The English' at Birkbeck College, University of London, at 5pm on 13th November 2008

Controversy/Criticism: Melanie The media war against the Jews August 2006; Daniel Johnson: The Other Cheek?, The New York Sun, August 2006 - reference: Mel Gibson deserves pity, not pillory


  • Calling Bible John - BAFTA, 1996
  • Our Fathers - Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, 2000
  • Personality - James Tait Black Memorial Prize (fiction), 2003

Shortlisted: The Missing - Esquire Award, McVitie's Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year, Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award, 1995; Our Fathers - Booker Prize for Fiction, Whitbread First Novel Award, 1999, Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, 2000, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2001


Other: Former partner of journalist and writer, India Knight

Books & Debate:

  • The Missing (New York: New Press: Distributed by W.W. Norton, 1996) OCLC 35652817
  • Our Fathers (New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1999) OCLC 41017557
  • The End of British Farming (London: Profile Books: London Review of Books, 2001) OCLC 48664595
  • Personality (Orlando: Harcourt, 2003) OCLC 51838414
  • The Weekenders: Adventures in Calcutta (London: Ebury, 2004) OCLC56118367
  • Be Near Me (Orlando: Harcourt, Inc., 2006) OCLC 71348704 - Meet the Author VIDEO

Latest work: The Atlantic Ocean : essays on Britain and America OCLC 213382463, 2008



The Daily Telegraph:

Column name: column for the Telegraph ended August 2008

Remit/Info: Contemporary Culture and Society

Section: Features / Comments

Role: Columnist



Website: / Andrew O'Hagan

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Tuesday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length: 900 words


  • Alexander Solzhenitsyn: a bundle of laughs - And so we say goodbye to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the funniest writer since Oscar Wilde - 5th August 2008
  • Pubs are the last place I'd want to drink in - The word "community" is very popular with politicians of every party, but it has become a vague concept in Britain, one that a new generation finds it quite hard to get a handle on - 29th July 2008
  • Glasgow no longer belongs to Labour - My mother phoned me the other day to tell me she thought we were related to Margaret Curran, the Labour candidate for Glasgow East. "All the Currans lived in Parkhead, like my auntie Maggie," said my mother... - 22nd July 2008
  • Every age should be one of discovery - I know we're all hostages to physical ruin, but I've always been baffled by the notion that people should close down at 65 - 15th July 2008
  • When we learnt how much we wanted to live - In Britain, the decades that enjoy all the attention are the 1940s and the 1960s. One can understand the fascination, for each of those periods brought about a liberation of one sort or another - 1st July 2008
  • Why pre-adolescents are obsessed with sex - Like many of you, I grew up with the adhesive morals of Blue Peter threatening to stick to my character. It was all about making do and mending, being a good citizen, liking animals and helping others - 24th June 2008
  • We can no longer see altruism as heroic - Just out of university, I got a job working with ex-soldiers who had lost their sight in war. Many of those wonderful old men were veterans of the Somme and Gallipoli, blinded in mustard gas attacks - 11th June 2008
  • An ocean apart - An idea of the United States as idealistic and open has always captivated Andrew O'Hagan, even as America turned its back on decency. Does Barack Obama signal the return of hope? - The Guardian, 7th June 2008
  • A stiff upper lip never did me any harm - Is it possible that British people have more feelings than they used to have? I don't mean stronger ones or deeper ones, but just more of them? - 3rd June 2008
  • Indiana Jones and the condescending critics - I have good personal reasons to resent Indiana Jones - 19th May 2008
  • Bakery murder: Bravo to Jimmy Mizen's mother for rejecting revenge - We hear a lot about human forgiveness in our lives. We hear it from church pulpits and political platforms. But very few public individuals - be they religious enthusiasts or heads of government - ever move you with their courage in forgiving those who have harmed them or the people they represent - 13th May 2008
  • Tears before bedtime for preening men - Male vanity has a lot to answer for. It can claim credit for every great conflict in history and most of the intractable problems of today. Yet these facts shouldn't prevent us men from feeling deeply sorry for ourselves at every opportunity - 6th May 2008
  • Join the Scouts - and get out of the house - Robert Baden-Powell was a hero of the Boer War and a person devoted to the idea that societies tend to work best when everybody knows how to tie knots and are generally willing to do their bit - 22nd April 2008
  • Fathers want to be left holding the baby - It seems that couples intent on marriage are always looking for inventive venues in which to experience the happiest day of their lives - 15th April 2008
  • Fear of Islam is ruining our chance for peace - The wish genuinely to address political ills in this country is often stymied by a need people have to cling either to what is Right or what is Left. You see it at work every day, the instinct to turn with the shoal of mackerel or the flock of starlings, without a moment's pause to examine what is really at issue - 8th April 2008
  • Hillary Clinton must put beliefs before ambition - The race to be the Democratic nominee for President has entered a decisive phase, and it looks as if Hillary Clinton may run out of populist steam long before she runs out of money - 2nd April 2008

  • All Helen Mirren did was forget a few lines - People are never more vain than when covering up their vanity, yet we must be very kind to Helen Mirren and not judge her too harshly for trying to forget her lines - 25th September 2007
  • Children should eat what they're given - We are told that nearly 70 per cent of British children are now turning down school dinners. Parents find the meals too expensive and their children find the healthy options to be - in order of eloquence - "disgusting", "horrible", "pukey" - 4th September 2007
  • Why have weddings become so grotesque? - People make such a fuss about their weddings nowadays that it's hard to remember marriage is fundamentally a couple of sentences - it wasn't me who said "with hard labour" - w\ritten on a piece of paper - 28th August 2007
  • Why do we all have to be graduates? - The average British politician - and there surely can't have been a time in history when so many were so average - tends to limit the possibilities of betterment in this country by imagining that the exact same things are good for everybody - 21st August 2007
  • Westerns that shoot from the hip - You can always tell when America is having doubts about itself: it starts producing westerns - 31st July 2007
  • Why old folk can drive me to distraction - I really love pensioners and count at least six people over the age of 65 as my dearest friends. I love their lack of interest in fashion and their quite reliable lack of conversational banality: what I don't love is their driving - 24th July 2007
  • We are still talking rubbish about bins - You can look at it either way - "Revolting bins anger overflowing MPs" or "Revolting MPs angry at overflowing bins" - but our leaders don't entirely seem to have a handle on this issue of rubbish collection - 17th July 2007
  • Don't let the Games go the way of the Dome - The weekend just past was an excellent one for sport in Britain - 10th July 2007
  • Diana did a service to the House of Windsor - At the funeral 10 years ago of Diana, Princess of Wales, her brother paid tribute to the way she had been bringing up her two boys, and he pledged to continue her efforts to ensure that the princes were not "simply immersed by duty and tradition", but that their souls would be allowed to "sing openly, as you planned" - 3rd July 2007
  • Blair's Apologia will be worth reading - I love this game called Connections, where you get to see how two fairly distant people are associated by a chain of current events - 26th June 2007
  • Celebrity is the death of childhood - I once went into a classroom of young girls and asked them to write on a piece of paper what they wanted to be when they grew up. It was a standard question of the sort we were all asked as children, but the response of these modern girls was different from what it would have been 30 years before - 19th June 2007
  • I thought we'd abolished the workhouse - It was Charles Dickens who gave us the eternal image of the child-hating beadle who screws up his face with revulsion at the sight of a child in need, but that facial expression is greatly in evidence nowadays. Britain's disadvantaged children are, according to a major report on Sunday, a year behind in education by the age of three - 12th June 2007
  • Hillary, we could make such sweet music - I suppose I might finally have to accept that Hillary Clinton is not going to ask me to write her campaign song. And to be perfectly honest with you, I'm hurt. I'm more than hurt: I'm gutted. First off, I sent the Senator a bootleg copy of my infamous debut single, Heard About Love, a song I recorded with a gang of terrific hooligans when I was 15 - 29th May 2007
  • Shame on you, Margaret Hodge - Are modern politicians generally more disgusting than they used to be? - 22nd May 2007

News & updates:

  • regular column for the Telegraph ended August 2008