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Niven, Alastair

Alastair Niven

Elected: 2021

Alastair Niven was born in Edinburgh. He has held academic positions at the Universities of Ghana, Leeds, Stirling, Aarhus, London and Oxford.He was Director General of the Africa Centre for six years. Uniquely he was Director of Literature at the Arts Council of Great Britain, Arts Council England and the British Council. For twelve years he was Principal of Cumberland Lodge, Windsor. He was President of English PEN, 2003-7. He has written critical books and articles on many authors, including Chinua Achebe, Mulk Raj Anand, D. H. Lawrence, and Raja Rao. His autobiography was published in 2021.  

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Fellowship Election Process​

Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.