Alastair Niven was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2021.
Alastair Niven was born in Edinburgh. He has held academic positions at the Universities of Ghana, Leeds, Stirling, Aarhus, London and Oxford. He was Director General of the Africa Centre for six years. Uniquely he was Director of Literature at the Arts Council of Great Britain, Arts Council England and the British Council. For twelve years he was Principal of Cumberland Lodge, Windsor. He was President of English PEN, 2003-7. He has written critical books and articles on many authors, including Chinua Achebe, Mulk Raj Anand, D. H. Lawrence, and Raja Rao. His autobiography was published in 2021.