Hugo Hamilton

Hugo Hamilton is an Irish writer.

Hamilton’s mother was a German who travelled to Ireland in 1949 for a pilgrimage, married an Irishman, and settled in the country. His father was a militant nationalist who insisted that his children should speak only German or Irish, but not English, a prohibition the young Hugo resisted inwardly. “The prohibition against English made me see that language as a challenge. Even as a child I spoke to the walls in English and secretly rehearsed dialogue I heard outside,” he wrote later.

As a consequence of this, he grew up with three languages – English, Irish and German – and a sense of never really belonging to any: “There were no other children like me, no ethnic groups that I could attach myself to”.

Books in order of publication:


Surrogate City (1990)

The Last Shot (1991)

The Love Test (1995)

Headbanger (1996)

Sad Bastard (1998)

Disguise (2008)

Hand in the Fire (2010)

Every Single Minute (2014)

Dublin Palms (2019)

The Pages (2022)

Short stories

Dublin Where the Palm Trees Grow (1996)


The Speckled People (2003)

The Sailor in the Wardrobe (2006) [US Title: The Harbor Boys]

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