O'Hagan was born in Glasgow, and grew up in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire. He is of Irish Catholic descent and attended St Michael's Academy in Kilwinning before studying at the University of Strathclyde.
In 1991, O'Hagan joined the staff of the London Review of Books, where he worked for four years. In 1995, he published his first book, The Missing, to considerable critical acclaim. The book crosses genres by exploring the lives of people who have gone missing in Britain and the families left behind. The Missing was shortlisted for three literary awards. In 1999, O'Hagan's debut novel, Our Fathers (1999), was nominated for several awards, including the Booker Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award, and the IMPAC Literary Award. It won the Winifred Holtby Prize for Fiction. In 2003, his next novel Personality, which has close similarities to the life of Lena Zavaroni, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. That same year, O'Hagan won the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2006, his third novel, Be Near Me, was published by Faber and Faber and long-listed for that year's Booker Prize. It went on to win the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction 2008 (and later adapted for state). In 2008, he edited a new selection of Robert Burns's poems for Canongate, published as A Night Out With Robert Burns. A copy was lodged in every secondary school in Scotland. Following on from this, he wrote and presented a three-part film on Burns for the BBC, The World According to Robert Burns, first on 5 January 2009. In January 2011, Scotland on Sunday gave away 80,000 copies of the book. Also in 2008, Faber & Faber also published O'Hagan's first collection of non-fiction, The Atlantic Ocean: Essays on Britain and America. The latter was shortlisted for the 2008 Saltire Book of the Year Award. O'Hagan's 2010 novel The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe is a picaresque story told in the voice of a Scottish Maltese poodle called Maf, the name of the real dog given by Frank Sinatra to Marilyn Monroe in 1960. It was published by Faber & Faber in May 2010 and won O'Hagan the Spirit of Scotland Award. In March, 2012 it was announced that Andrew O'Hagan is working on a theatrical production about the crisis in British newspapers, called "ENQUIRER". He is named as Co-Editor.
Be Near Me by Andrew O'Hagan
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (June 4, 2007)
Amazon: Be Near Me
Amazon Kindle: Be Near Me
Half a life later, David is Father Anderton, a Catholic priest with a small parish in Scotland. He befriends Mark and Lisa, rebellious local teenagers who live in a world he barely understands. Their company stirs memories of earlier happiness—his days at a Catholic school in Yorkshire, the student revolt in 1960s Oxford, and a choice he once made in the orange groves of Rome. But their friendship also ignites the suspicions and smoldering hatred of a town that resents strangers, and brings Father David to a reckoning with the gathered tensions of past and present.
In this masterfully written novel, Andrew O’Hagan explores the emotional and moral contradictions of religious life in a faithless age.
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