Timothy Mo

Last updated

Timothy Mo
BornTimothy Peter Mo
(1950-12-30) 30 December 1950 (age 71)
Chinese name
Chinese 毛翔青 [1]

Timothy Peter Mo (born 30 December 1950 [2] ) is a British Asian novelist. Born to a British mother and a Hong Kong father, Mo lived in Hong Kong until the age of 10, when he moved to Britain. Educated at Mill Hill School and St John's College, Oxford, Mo worked as a journalist before becoming a novelist. [3]


His works have won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction), and three of his novels were shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. [4] Mo was also the recipient of the 1992 E. M. Forster Award. [5] His novel An Insular Possession (1986) was among the contenders in The Telegraph's list of the 10 all-time greatest Asian novels. [6]

In the early 1990s Mo became increasingly mistrustful of his publishers and increasingly outspoken about the publishing industry in general. Since 1994 when he rejected a £125,000 advance from Random House for his next novel, he has self-published his books under the label "Paddleless Press". His first novel to be self-published was Brownout on Breadfruit Boulevard. [7] [8] [9]


Mo has been described as a British Asian author. [10]



Related Research Articles

Rohinton Mistry is an Indian-born Canadian writer. He has been the recipient of many awards including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2012. Each of his first three novels were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His novels to date have been set in India, told from the perspective of Parsis, and explore themes of family life, poverty, discrimination, and the corrupting influence of society.

This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1991.

Dame Rose Tremain is an English novelist, short story writer, and former Chancellor of the University of East Anglia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Miller (novelist)</span> British novelist

Andrew Brooke Miller FRSL is an English novelist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alan Hollinghurst</span> English novelist

Alan James Hollinghurst is an English novelist, poet, short story writer and translator. He won the 1989 Somerset Maugham Award, the 1994 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the 2004 Booker Prize.

The James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are literary prizes awarded for literature written in the English language. They, along with the Hawthornden Prize, are Britain's oldest literary awards. Based at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, United Kingdom, the prizes were founded in 1919 by Janet Coats Black in memory of her late husband, James Tait Black, a partner in the publishing house of A & C Black Ltd. Prizes are awarded in three categories: Fiction, Biography and Drama.

<i>The Redundancy of Courage</i>

The Redundancy of Courage is a novel by Timothy Mo published in 1991. It is set in the fictitious country of Danu in Southeast Asia, which is based on East Timor. It is narrated by Adolph Ng, an ethnic Chinese businessman educated in Canada. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew O'Hagan</span> Scottish author

Andrew O'Hagan is a Scottish novelist and non-fiction author. Three of his novels have been nominated for the Booker Prize and he has won several awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

The Hawthornden Prize is a British literary award that was established in 1919 by Alice Warrender, who was born at Hawthornden Castle. Authors under the age of 41 are awarded on the quality of their "imaginative literature", which can be written in either poetry or prose. The Hawthornden Committee awards the Prize annually for a work published in the previous twelve months. There have been several gap years without a recipient.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caryl Phillips</span> Kittitian-British novelist (b. 1958)

Caryl Phillips is a Kittitian-British novelist, playwright and essayist. Best known for his novels, Phillips is often described as a Black Atlantic writer, since much of his fictional output is defined by its interest in, and searching exploration of, the experiences of peoples of the African diaspora in England, the Caribbean and the United States. As well as writing, Phillips has worked as an academic at numerous institutions including Amherst College, Barnard College, and Yale University, where he has held the position of Professor of English since 2005.

Piers Paul Read FRSL is a British novelist, historian and biographer. He was first noted in 1974 for a book of reportage, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, later adapted as a feature film and a documentary. Read was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he studied history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Helon Habila</span> Nigerian novelist and poet (born 1967)

Helon Habila Ngalabak is a Nigerian novelist and poet, whose writing has won many prizes, including the Caine Prize in 2001. He worked as a lecturer and journalist in Nigeria before moving in 2002 to England, where he was a Chevening Scholar at the University of East Anglia, and now teaches creative writing at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.

Miranda Carter is an English historian, writer and biographer who also publishes fiction under the name MJ Carter.

Ray Robinson is a British novelist, screenwriter and musician.

Jonathan B. Keates FRSL is an English writer, biographer, novelist and former chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund.

Lucy Ellmann is an American-born British novelist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Crace</span> English novelist, playwright and short story writer

James Crace is an English novelist, playwright and short story writer. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999, Crace was born in Hertfordshire and has lectured at the University of Texas at Austin. His novels have been translated into 28 languages—including Norwegian, Japanese, Portuguese and Hebrew.

<i>Sour Sweet</i>

Sour Sweet is a 1982 novel by Timothy Mo. Written as a 'sour sweet' comedy the story follows the tribulations of a Hong Kong Chinese immigrant and his initially reluctant wife as they attempt to make a home for themselves in 1960s London. It was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for 1982, and shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.

<i>The Monkey King</i> (Mo novel)

The Monkey King is the debut novel of Timothy Mo, originally published in London in 1978 by André Deutsch. It was subsequently released through other UK and US publishers – including Faber & Faber, HarperCollins, Random House/Doubleday hardcover (1980), Vintage – before being self-published by the author under the Paddleless Press imprint in 2000. Comic and ironic in style, the novel was chosen by Hilary Bailey of the New Fiction Society and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1979.


  1. "一個人一個故事:消失12年 Timothy Mo新作面世". Apple Daily. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2015.[ dead link ]
  2. According to "Timothy Mo" in Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, (16 June 2004 update), some sources give his year of birth as 1953
  3. Nick Rennison (2005). Contemporary British novelists. Routledge. pp. 101–3. ISBN   978-0-415-21709-5.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Timothy Mo British Council Literature". British Council . British Council. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  5. 1 2 "American Academy of Arts and Letters - Award Winners". American Academy of Arts and Letters. Archived from the original on 6 November 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  6. "10 best Asian novels of all time". The Telegraph. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  7. Tonkin, Boyd (22 October 2011). "Timothy Mo - Postcards from the edge". The Independent . Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  8. Foran, Charles (22 June 2012). "The rise and fall, and rise again, of the mysterious Timothy Mo". The Globe and Mail . Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  9. Books by ISBN Paddleless Press
  10. Tamara S. Wagner (2008). "Gorged-out Cadavers of Hills". In Neil Murphy; Wai-Chew Sim (eds.). British Asian Fiction: Framing the Contemporary. Cambria Press. p. 165. ISBN   978-1604975413. British Asian authors like Timothy Mo or Kazuo Ishiguro.