Andrew O’Hagan

Andrew O'Hagan2 posts

Andrew O’Hagan is a Scottish author and essayist born in Glasgow in 1968. He has written several books including The Missing, Be Near Me and The Illuminations. He is also known for ghostwriting the autobiography of Juilan Assange.

9 Apr, 2015

Reuters interview


In an interview with Reuters O’Hagan talks about the emotional aspect of killing his characters

Yeah man, I get really upset. But when you’re writing a book, a sort of moral arbiter intervenes and makes decisions for you. There’s a quivering hysteric under every paragraph called the author, but a novel isn’t just an authorial will. There’s a moment when you feel characters’ deaths are foretold. If they’re real, then, like all of us, there’s a death in there for them somewhere. And we don’t get to decide entirely how it happens.

And how he is inspired by photography:

Photography takes the appearance of a moment and gives it to the future. It’s the most like our lives. It’s the most like our minds, second by second. Now we have photographic devices on us at all times. That wasn’t always the case. I’d love to read a great novel one day about the selfie.

28 Feb, 2015

StarPoenix interview

O’Hagan discusses travelling to Afghanistan to research The Illuminations.

I’m not especially courageous. I’m not a warrior. I’m a guy who sits in a room with a keyboard in front of me. But if I was going to write about a conflict situation, I had to go and taste it … taste the heat, the dust, the sense of starkness that I knew existed.

He says his “moment of truth” came when visiting an Afghan school.

What I saw, after years of supposed enlightenment and struggle and loss of British, Canadian, and American lives, was a girls’ school where the drinking water had been poisoned by extremist fanatics. In 2013, years into a supposedly emancipating war, we had failed to protect a school of girls from the Taliban.

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