James Hamilton-Paterson


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James hamilton Paterson's work has been translated into many languages. He is a highly acclaimed author of non-fiction books, including Seven-Tenths, Three Miles Down, and Playing with Water, and America's Boy, a study of Ferdinand Marcos and the Philippines. Gerontius, his first novel, won the Whitbread Award, while the Sunday Telegraph praised his most recent Loving Monsters (2001) as 'tantalizing, erudite and ingenious.' He lives in Italy.

James Hamilton-Paterson was born on 6 November 1941 in London, England. His father was a neurosurgeon who treated the Aga Khan and provided the inspiration for the poem "Disease," for which Hamilton-Paterson was awarded the Newdigate Prize. He was educated at Windlesham House, Sussex, Bickley Hall, Kent, King's School, Canterbury, and Exeter College, Oxford.

Having worked as a hospital orderly at St. Stephen's Hospital between 1966–1968, Paterson earned his first writing break in 1969, when he began working as a reporter for the New Statesman. This continued until 1974 when he became features editor for Nova magazine.

Hamilton-Paterson is generally known as a commentator on the Philippines, where he has lived intermittently since 1979. His novel Ghosts of Manila (1994) portrayed the Philippine capital in all its decay and violence. They were highly critical of the Marcoses – a view he rescinded with the publication of America's Boy (1998), which set the Marcos regime into the geopolitical context of the time.

In 1989, Gerontius was published, a reconstruction of a journey made by the composer Sir Edward Elgar along the River Amazon in 1923. Regarded by admirers as being among the best British novels of the 1980s, its poetic language, dreamlike landscapes, and lush imaginings won him the Whitbread Award for his first novel.

In 1992, he published Seven-Tenths, a far-ranging meditation on the sea and its meanings. A mixture of art, science, history, and philosophy, this book is a deep, abstract lament on loss and the loss of meaning.

In 2000, he returned to the magazine industry as a science columnist for Das Magazin (Zurich) for two years before becoming a science columnist for Die Weltwoche. More recently, he won acclaim for his Gerald Samper trilogy and his non-fiction book Empire of the Clouds, which details the aviation industry in post-war Britain.

Best author’s book


Empire of the Clouds

Brian Cox