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Neal Hovelmeier

"An outstandingly gifted writer" | THE SCOTSMAN

"Dazzles with every word" | LIVERPOOL DAILY POST

"He has courage and wide sympathies" | THE TIMES

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Neal Hovelmeier is a Zimbabwean writer, cultural arts critic and human rights campaigner. His novels are published under the pseudonym, Ian Holding.

Unfeeling (2005), was noted as “one of the season’s best books” by Newsweek and as a “tour de force” by the Independent. Of Beasts and Beings (2010) was described by Michael Ondaatje as “stunning and original, almost Blakean in its vision,” and a “poetic lament” by the Cape Times, while critic Jackie Law heralded What Happened to Us (2018) as being a “powerful, haunting novel.” He was a finalist for the 2006 Dylan Thomas Prize, the 2011 Manchester Prize and the 2014 Rolex Initiative. 

His short writing, essays, criticism and articles have appeared in several print publications, inlcuding The Cambridge Literary Review, the Guardian, the Times and the Scotsman. As a speaker he has presented on platforms in London, Edinburgh, New York, Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Auckland, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Harare.

He has twice been a Hawthornden Fellow and is a Robert G. James Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He has a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand.

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