Hitchings, whom the paper describes as "one of London's most exciting new writers," is an author, whose book "The Secret Life of Words; How English Became English" won the 2008 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Other books include "Dr. Johnson's Dictionary: The Extraordinary Story of the Book that Defined the World" (his PhD thesis at University College, London was on Johnson) and "How To Really Talk About Books You Haven't Read," published in October 2008. The writer, who is 34, did his undergraduate degree at Christ Church College, Oxford, before researching his PhD. He has previously written for the Financial Times, the New Statesman, The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement.
Hitchings takes up his appointment May 11.