Nick Hornby (born 17 April 1957 in Redhill, Surrey, England) is an English novelist and essayist. He was brought up in Maidenhead and was educated at Maidenhead Grammar School and Jesus College, Cambridge. He is best known for the novels High Fidelity, About a Boy and for the football memoir Fever Pitch. His work frequently touches upon music, sports, and the both aimless and obsessive natures of his protagonists.
Hornby's first published book, 1992s Fever Pitch, is an autobiographical story detailing his fanatical support for the Arsenal Football Club. As a result, Hornby received the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. In 1997 the memoir was adapted for film in the UK and in 2005 an American remake was released, following Jimmy Fallon's obsession with the Boston Red Sox. With the book's success, Hornby began to publish articles in the Sunday Times, Time Out and the Times Literary Supplement, in addition to his music reviews for the New Yorker. High Fidelity his second book and first novel was published in 1995. The novel, about a neurotic record collector and his failed relationships, was adapted into a 2000 film starring John Cusack, and a Broadway musical in 2006.
His third novel, About a Boy, published in 1998, is about two "boys" -- Marcus, an awkward yet endearing adolescent from a single parent family, and the free floating, mid-30s Will Freeman who overcomes his own immaturity and self-centeredness through his growing relationship with Marcus. Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult starred in the 2002 movie version. In 1999 Hornby received the E. M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The novel How to Be Good was published in 2001. The female protagonist in the novel explores contemporary morals, marriage and parenthood. It won the WH Smith Award for Fiction in 2002. A part of the money he earned with his next book Speaking with the Angel in 2002 was donated to TreeHouse, a charity for children with autism, the disorder that affects Hornby's own son. He was editor of the book, which contained twelve short stories written by his friends. He also contributed to the collection with the story "NippleJesus." In 2003 Hornby wrote a collection of essays on selected popular songs and the emotional resonance they carry, called 31 Songs (known in the US as Songbook). Also in 2003, Hornby was awarded the London Award 2003, an award that was selected by fellow writers.
Hornby has also written essays on various aspects of popular culture, and in particular he has become known for his writing on pop music and mix tape enthusiasts. He also began writing a book review column, "Stuff I've Been Reading," for the monthly magazine The Believer that ran through September 2008; all of these articles are collected between The Polysyllabic Spree (2004), Housekeeping vs. The Dirt (2006), and Shakespeare Wrote for Money (2008).
Hornby's novel A Long Way Down was published in 2005. It was on the shortlist for the Whitbread Novel Award. Hornby has also edited two sports-related anthologies: My Favourite Year and The Picador Book of Sports Writing.
Hornby's newest book, entitled Slam, was released on October 16, 2007, is his first novel for young adults and was recognized by the Young Adult Library Services Association as a 2008 Best Book for Young Adults. The protagonist of Slam is a 15-year-old skateboarder named Sam whose life changes drastically when his girlfriend gets pregnant.