Andrew O’Hagan

Andrew O’Hagan is the LRB's editor at large. His play, The Ballad of Truman Capote, directed by him, will be on at the Edinburgh Festival this summer.

Short Cuts: The Rich List

Andrew O’Hagan, 15 June 2023

Once a rich person​ gets past a billion, their sense of humour tends to go, along with their tolerance for ordinary people. They can’t begin to spend the money, but they can’t stop thinking about it either. The clever ones don’t buy into the fallacy that the riches are actually theirs: they offload as much as they can, then leave the problem firmly where it belongs, in the...

Off His Royal Tits: On Prince Harry

Andrew O’Hagan, 2 February 2023

Harry will allow no contradiction and no variance – ‘Recollections may vary,’ the late queen said – and only when his wider family shows that it ‘deeply appreciates’ the truth of what he’s gone through will ‘reconciliation’ be possible. Harry says, in his Montecito meets TikTok kind of way, that ‘forgiveness is 100 per cent a possibility,’ and that he’s ‘open’ to helping the royal family understand its own unconscious bias. It must be quite annoying, if you’re them. You don’t have to be Baudrillard to feel that Harry’s idea of the truth is simplistic, and that he’s become a bit of a fundamentalist: anything that isn’t ‘my truth’ is automatically part of the big lie. Harry has set out to convince the world that his family are professional liars, with one or two saving graces, such as heavenly anointment. And he’s not wrong.

Short Cuts: I Think We’re Alone Now

Andrew O’Hagan, 15 December 2022

Ionce​ drove to Forest Lawn Memorial Park. It was before Michael Jackson had his crypt there, but I remember finding Walt Disney’s grave and that of Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore. A few writers are there too: Theodore Dreiser, who wrote well about department stores in Sister Carrie, and Clifford Odets, who believed shopping was one of America’s chronic diseases....

From The Blog
9 September 2022

Overnight, the newspapers got in on the act, behaving as if history were simply a concatenation of our large feelings. ‘Our Hearts Are Broken,’ the Daily Mail screams. ‘How to find the words? Our grief is a hundred different emotions, all of them hard to grasp.’ (Is shame an emotion, and is it hard to grasp?) ‘We Loved You, Ma’am,’ roars the Sun, which changed its banner from red to purple. It seems consistent with the general nullity that the papers emoting most extravagantly are the ones that made the queen suffer the most.

Deadheaded Sentences: A Disservice to Dolly

Andrew O’Hagan, 4 August 2022

For scholars​ of heartbreak and trepidation, the Dolly Parton songbook is a core text. No other singer would say ‘please’ when begging Jolene not to take her man. In Country Music, Ken Burns’s recent documentary series, Parton insists a great song is like an heirloom or a keepsake, essentially a piece of storytelling. A well-written song can dramatise a wonderful character...

About a third of the way through his first book, The Missing, Andrew O’Hagan pauses over a perception he thinks his readers may find ‘a bit surprising’. It’s an intricate...

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