novelist and journalist, educated at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. His first novel, Other Lulus (1994), was followed by the much‐praised Kitchen Venom (1996), a moody family drama based in part on Hensher's experiences as a clerk at the House of Commons at the time of Mrs Thatcher's defeat. Pleasured (1998) is set in Berlin just before the collapse of communism, and offers an unsettling, occasionally comic account of lives caught up in urban terrorism and espionage. The Mulberry Empire (2002) is a historical novel set largely in 19th‐cent. Afghanistan.