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Hensher, Philip

(British, 1965– )

Hensher has worked as a House of Commons clerk, and now reviews and writes novels and short stories. Begin with his stories collected in The Bedroom of the Mister's Wife (1999). These are written with beautiful simplicity, mostly narrated in the first person by a character who is bemused by his own situation. The most extreme example of this is ‘God’, where the narrator awakes in an unfamiliar room, with an unknown boy in his bed, and a briefcase full of money. ‘“Where am I?” “Istanbul,” he said. I took this in for a while. I live in Ealing.’ ‘To Feed the Night’ is a delicious fable about a couple whose greed for property leads them to a sticky end. The novel Kitchen Venom (1996) features a hunchback who murders his gay lover. The characters’ inner lives are beautifully observed, although the plotting is unconvincing.

Raymond Carver, Adam Mars-Jones  JR

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)