Sir David Hare

b. 1947

Sir David Hare was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1985.

When I wrote a short play about my schooldays, South Downs, which was at Chichester, then in the West End a couple of years ago, I found myself trying to explain the 1950s and the 1960s to a disbelieving young cast. I realised how distant those decades now seemed. There are very few works of memoir by those of us born in that bubble just after the war. Salman Rushdie did write, but only for a very specific reason – because he had been the victim of a fatwah. The most brilliant and haunting autobiographies lately have been by people born some time before me – Edna O’Brien’s Country Girl, Michael Frayn’s My Father’s Fortune, and Michael Holroyd’s Basil Street Blues.

Faber published The Blue Touch Paper this September. It was liberating, after so many years of collaboration, finally to write something where I wasn’t expecting to answer to directors, producers or actors.  It is, I hope, what the Germans call a bildungsroman – trying to interweave the story of becoming a writer with the wider story of what was happening meanwhile in the country at large. It’s nerve-wracking to attempt an entirely new form in your mid-sixties, but I haven’t had this much fun with a typewriter for a long time.

Photo of David Hare copyright Daniel Farhi 2010.

Articles by Sir David Hare

Mere fact, mere fiction: David Hare on journalism and art

For The Garrick Lecture, David Hare discusses the difference between a journalistic view of life and an artistic one, chaired by Christopher Hampton.

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