About

This is the official website of the writer James Lasdun, and the only reliably accurate source of information about his work.

James_LasdunJames Lasdun was born in London in 1958 and now lives in the US. He has published two novels, four collections of poetry and four books of short stories, including the selection The Siege, the title story of which was made into a film by Bernardo Bertolucci (Besieged). His most recent books are Bluestone: New and Selected Poems and Feathered Glory, a novella published in the Paris Review (Spring 2015). With Jonathan Nossiter he co-wrote the films Sunday, which won Best Feature and Best Screenplay awards at Sundance, and Signs and Wonders, starring Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgaard. With Michael Hofmann he edited the anthology After Ovid: New Metamorphoses. With his wife Pia Davis he has written two guide books, Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria, and Walking and Eating in Provence. His essays and reviews have appeared in Harper’s, Granta, The London Review of Books, The New York Times, The Guardian and The New Yorker.

His work has been widely translated and won numerous awards, including the inaugural BBC National Short Story Award. He has been a finalist for the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize and the LA Times Book Prize. His first novel, The Horned Man, was a New York Times Notable Book, and his second, Seven Lies, was longlisted for the Booker Man Prize.

Critical appraisals of his work include reviews by James Wood in The Guardian and Gabriele Annan in the New York Review of Books.

“James Lasdun seems to be one of the secret gardens of English writing…when we read him we know what language is for… Lasdun is a poet, and of course, one would expect, on his part, an enlarged attention to prose. It is easy to forget how very ordinary most contemporary prose-writers are… Lasdun’s prose, by contrast, is neither too fancy nor too regular. It is flexible, rich, metaphorical, and lovely… In sentence after sentence, the reader feels Lasdun’s words shaping and then freely donating a world to us, with great flexible artistry.”  — James Wood, The Guardian

COMING IN OCTOBER:

THE FALL GUY: a novel

jacket

Starred Publishers Weekly review:

At the start of this terrific novel of suspense from Lasdun (Seven Lies), Matthew, an unemployed chef, and his cousin Charlie, a successful Wall Streeter, drive from New York City to Charlie’s vacation house in the Catskills. Charlie has invited Matthew, who’s almost like a brother, to spend the summer with him and his wife, Chloe. Matthew believes that the summer will be restorative, but the pastoral retreat is anything but as the gap in social status between him and Charlie becomes more pronounced. The tension rises when Matthew, essentially a private chef for the couple, begins to suspect Chloe of infidelity. The verboten topics of class and money hover over this literate tale of love, jealousy, and revenge. As one character notes, money is “inextricably linked to the one source of guilt and shame… the sense that you’ve stolen another person’s labor.” An undercurrent of menace and threat finally erupts, and Lasdun presents the inexorable turnings of fate in a subtle and disconcerting way.

Reviewed on 08/05/2016 | Details & Permalink