Philip Hensher

Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter, Philip Hensher was among Granta 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. The author of six novels, a collection of short stories and an opera libretto, he has won numerous prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Stonewall Journalist of the Year. His 2008 novel, 'The Northern Clemency', was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. A regular presence in the British media, alongside his Wednesday column for The Independent, he writes for The Spectator and Mail on Sunday.

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Philip Hensher: A brutal execution that delivered instant satisfaction – but not justice

Colonel Gaddafi was accustomed to appear in public wearing enough insignia on his chest to cover a dining table.

Philip Hensher: Werritty had a priceless commodity that others could mine– he had Access

Towards the end of a lifetime of networking, someone asked that glacial charlatan-genius Andy Warhol if there were anyone left he still had a desire to meet.

Philip Hensher: The voices of the Nobel Peace Prize winners have just got louder

In August 1976, British troops had been deployed in Northern Ireland for exactly seven years. There seemed no prospect of any resolution to what had become known as the Troubles.

Philip Hensher: Embrace your inner weirdo, Ed

Notebook

Philip Hensher: Undecided? Take the gaydar challenge...

1. When you have guests for dinner, you cook from whose book:

Philip Hensher: Assange thinks truth comes in two forms

Anonymous, the internet activists' slogan, runs "Knowledge is free. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us!"

Philip Hensher: Decline and fall - the world envisaged in chaos theory is now with us

Poor countries are helped out by rich countries. And what happens when rich countries, through their munificence, become poor countries?

Philip Hensher: The countryside is an illusion, so why not build?

M ost English people live in cities. The ten biggest urban areas, as officially defined, contain 18.3 million people – London, Manchester, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Tyneside, Liverpool, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol and Brighton. Some of these urban areas are quite arbitrarily divided, for example separating Sheffield from Chesterfield and Liverpool from Birkenhead, so the 40 per cent of the English population which seems to live in the ten largest urban areas is probably an underestimate.

Philip Hensher: The countryside is an illusion, so why not build?

It is true that we have come to the conclusion most newly-built houses are an abomination. But it need not be so

Philip Hensher: Supple's plays trip off the tongues

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