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Author Biography - Barry Hines

Born in 1939 in the mining village of Hoyland Common near Barnsley, where his father was a miner. He played football for the England Grammar School team and, after leaving school, for a short time for Barnsley whilst working there as an apprentice mining surveyor. He studied Physical Education for three years at Loughborough Training College and taught for two years in a London comprehensive school, before returning to the North.

His first novel, THE BLINDER, was published in 1966 by Michael Joseph Limited and later in paperback by Penguin. His most celebrated book, A KESTREL FOR A KNAVE, was published in 1968 and the film version KES (for which he wrote the screenplay with the director Ken Loach) received rave notices from the critics and won many awards. A KESTREL FOR A KNAVE is now a set book for GCSE examinations and has been widely translated. A stage version (written with Allan Stronach) created originally for use in schools, has now been presented professionally at many leading repertory theatres; a stage musical of the book was produced at the Octagon Bolton during Autumn 1995 and was revived at York Theatre Royal in 2001. A second stage adaptation by Lawrence Till was premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1999 and has subsequently been widely produced elsewhere.

In January 1970 his radio play, BILLY'S LAST STAND, was presented as a stage play at the Royal Court Theatre and a television version by BBC/TV was first presented in February 1971. His third novel, FIRST SIGNS, was published in 1972 when he was also commissioned to write a BBC/TV Play for Today, SPEECH DAY, later re-produced by Thames Television for one of its schools' programmes. His BBC/TV half-hour play, TWO MEN FROM DERBY, was transmitted in 1976.

His next novel, THE GAMEKEEPER, was published in 1975: this was filmed by Ken Loach for ATV and was first shown in 1980. The highly successful Play for Today films (directed by Ken Loach and produced by Tony Garnett), THE PRICE OF COAL, were transmitted in April 1977 and repeated in August 1978. The stage version of PRICE OF COAL was given its first professional production at the Nottingham Playhouse in June 1984.

Barry's next film, LOOKS AND SMILES, (again directed by Ken Loach) won the Best Contemporary Screenplay prize at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival and was shown on Central Television in 1982. A new next novel, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, was first published by Michael Joseph in 1983 and by Penguin in March 1985.

THREADS, his acclaimed drama-documentary for BBC/TV first shown in September 1984 and subsequently sold throughout the world, won a special award at the 1985 Monte Carlo Festival, and the Broadcasting Press Guild Award 1985 for best Single Drama. It was nominated for seven different awards in the 1985 BAFTA Awards.

His film, SHOOTING STARS (directed by Chris Bernard) for Viva Pictures was transmitted as a Film on Four in 1990 and subsequently repeated; another television film BORN KICKING, directed by Mandie Fletcher and produced by Tony Garnett for BBC/TV, was first transmitted in September 1992.

Barry's novel THE HEART OF IT, was published by Michael Joseph in May 1994 and a paperback edition came out in 1997. Barry is currently writing a screenplay based on the novel for director Ken Loach and Sixteen Films. His novel ELVIS OVER ENGLAND was published in 2000.

His most recent work, and anthology called THIS ARTISTIC LIFE, is published by Pomona in May 2009.

Barry Hines lives in Sheffield.

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