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|Alma mater||Windlesham House School|
Bickley Hall, Kent
King's School, Canterbury
Exeter College, Oxford
|Employer||St. Stephen's Hospital|
James Hamilton-Paterson was born on 6 November 1941 in London, England. His father was a neurosurgeon who treated the Aga Khan and provided the inspiration for the poem 'Disease', for which Hamilton-Paterson was awarded the Newdigate Prize.
Having worked as a hospital orderly at St. Stephen's Hospital between 1966-1968, Paterson earned his first break in 1969 as a reporter for New Statesman until 1974 when he became features editor for Nova magazine.
Hamilton-Paterson is generally known as a commentator on the Philippines, where he has lived on and off since 1979. His novel Ghosts of Manila (1994) portrayed the Philippine capital in all its decay and violence and was highly critical of the Marcoses - a view he rescinded with the publication of America's Boy (1998), which sets the Marcos regime into the geopolitical context of the time.
In 1989, Gerontius was published, a reconstruction of a journey made by the composer Sir Edward Elgar along the River Amazon in 1923. Regarded by admirers as being among the best British novels of the 1980s, its poetic language, dreamlike landscapes and lush imaginings won him the Whitbread Award for first novel.
In 1992, he published Seven-Tenths, a far-ranging meditation upon the sea and its meanings. A mixture of art, science, history and philosophy, this book is a deep, abstract lament on loss and the loss of meaning.
More recently he won acclaim for his Gerald Samper trilogy as well as his non-fiction book Empire of the Clouds, which details the aviation industry in post-war Britain.