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 politician's wealth is fascinating, but it's not necessarily our business

How gripping it would be to discover how much one’s friends and enemies made last year

Philip Hensher: The Swedes have the right idea on binge drinking

The authorities should deny all supermarkets an alcohol licence. Let it be sold through specialist outlets

Philip Hensher: Against gay marriage? Too late, it's already here

I don’t know a single person in a civil partnership who doesn’t refer to themselves as being married

Philip Hensher: Is it a castle – or is it just a source of capital?

The mansion tax strikes hard at something close to the English heart. Houses are extensions of the self
Crime scene: the London tower block where Kristy Bamu was murdered

Philip Hensher: We turn up our music to cover the screams

The horrible thing about the murder of 15-year-old Kristy Bamu is that so many people were aware of it as it took its four-day course. Kristy's sister, Magalie Bamu, and her partner, Eric Bikubi, lived in a flat on the eighth floor. Kristy and two of his sisters were visiting from Paris at Christmas, 2010. After a few days, Bikubi decided that they were possessed by devils, and carried out a brutal improvised "exorcism", at the end of which Kristy was left pleading to be allowed to die. His body bore the marks of 101 separate injuries.

Philip Hensher: Of Blackadder and white women of a certain age

There are voices out there which traditional media neglect through their age, ethnicity, culture, sexuality

Philip Hensher: All very well in a gallery, but can you imagine living with the icon of urban depression?

A City acquaintance had a Damien Hirst medicine cabinet, to the occasional confusion of his guests

Philip Hensher: Do you want an experience or just to film it?

Sarah Millican is right. It's theft, as much as if you went into Waterstones and photocopied a new novel

Philip Hensher: My solution to the Falklands problem: sell them

I doubt we have much stomach for another war in the south Atlantic. And we need the money

Philip Hensher: Sergei Polunin and a lesson for Labour

Institutions need stars, and stars don't necessarily like institutions
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