Biography

Horatio Clare (1973 - ) is a writer, radio producer and journalist. Born in London, he and his brother Alexander grew up on a hill farm in the Black Mountains of south Wales. They were raised by their mother, who had fallen in love with the mountains and with sheep farming. Clare describes the experience in his first book "Running for the Hills" (John Murray 2006) in which he sets out to trace the course and causes of his parents divorce, and recalls the eccentric, romantic and often harsh conditions of his childhood. The book was widely and favourably reivewed in the UK, where it became a bestseller, as in the US.


Clare was expelled from Malvern College, then educated at Atlantic College. He read English at the University of York, where, like many of his peers and friends, he used a variety of drugs, particularly cannabis. His second book "Truant: Notes from the Slippery Slope" (John Murray July 2007) describes what happened to him and his peers, concentrating on the political and social culture of the 1990s, and seeking to explore and explain 'the mad elephant years' as the book calls them, the period in which young men are most likely to take drugs, get into fights, go to jail and commit suicide. The book follows Clare's attempts to begin a career in provincial journalism when stoned, manic or depressed, in thrall to the writings of the Romantics and the idea of Hunter S. Thompson. After a series of disastrous and eccentric escapades he ends up penniless on the streets of London, with a criminal record and apparent manic depression.
 
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image   The book tells of a kind of redemption through living and working with a crew of drug addicts and alcoholics in a Chelsea pub ("we know we are the bottle-washers in the luxury hotel of the western world", Clare writes) from where he joins the BBC and - eventually - gives up cannabis. The book surveys the long-term effect of cannabis on a diverse group of people, and ends with a passionate warning to other, younger users. At the BBC Clare worked as a researcher, then producer on Front Row (Radio 4), Night Waves and The Verb (Radio 3) for which he now freelances.



Clare is the author and editor of "Sicily Through Writers' Eyes" (Eland 2006), an anthology of writings about Sicily, and a contributor to the collections "Red City: Marakech Through Writers' Eyes" and "Meetings With Remarkable Muslims" (Eland 2005). His journalism has appeared inThe Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Spectator, The New Statesman, The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and Vogue.



"Running for the Hills" won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2007, was longlisted for The Guardian First Book Award 2006 and Clare was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, 2007.


 

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