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Hari Kunzru

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The Live Wire Author

Of mixed English and Kashmiri Pandit ancestry, Kunzru burst into the literary world at 32 with a million-pound advance for his first novel The Impressionist. He studied English at Oxford, completed an MA in Philosophy and Literature from University of Warwick. Following this, Kunzru worked in Wired UK as an award-winning travel journalist, interviewed artists for a television show and was music editor of Wallpaper magazine. He has also been a contributing editor to Mute, the culture and technology magazine. In 2003, Kunzru was named by Granta magazine as one of twenty “Best of Young British Novelists”, which he followed up with his second novel Transmission. Critics called his 2007 book My Revolutions an extraordinary autumnal depiction of a failed ’60s radical. His fourth novel, Gods Without Men, was compared to David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Although he was awarded The John Llewellyn Rhys prize for writers under 35, Kunzru turned it down because it was backed by the Mail on Sunday whose “hostility towards black and Asian people” he felt was unacceptable. Kunzru’s idealism is visible in his fiction as well as non-fiction. He wrote of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei recently: If he is not free then we are not. If he suffers from insult and humiliation, then we all do. Wherever he is, we are with him. Do we understand yet?

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