James Hamilton-Paterson is often described as a literary loner - a refined prose stylist who, although English-born, has spent most of his life outside the mainstream in the Philippines and Tuscany.

Hamilton-Paterson once described himself as a ‘rat-poor literary drifter’ and ‘professional absentee’. What this has meant over the years is that he has followed his own instincts, writing poetry, non-fiction and children’s books as well as fiction and a regular magazine column on maritime matters. He also has a share in the career of Martin Amis, who asked him whether he should try his hand at fiction; Hamilton-Paterson replied: ‘Yeah, why not give it a whirl.’ He has approached his own non-standard career in a similar carefree spirit.

James Hamilton-Paterson

All nominated books

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