James Lasdun

James Lasdun (born 1958) is a British writer who has lived in the United States since 1986. His father was the architect Denys Lasdun.[1]

Life and career

Lasdun was born in London, the son of Susan (Bendit) and Denys Lasdun.[2] Lasdun has written two novels, The Horned Man, 2002 , a New York Times Notable Book, and Seven Lies, 2006 , which was an Economist Book of the Year and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for fiction. He has published four collections of short stories, including The Siege: Selected Stories , the title story of which was adapted for film by Bernardo Bertolucci as Besieged  in 1998. His latest collection It's Beginning To Hurt, 2009  was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by The Los Angeles Times , the Wall Street Journal , the Library Journal  and the Atlantic .

With Jonathan Nossiter, Lasdun co-wrote the film Sunday in 1997, based on his story Ate Menos or The Miracle , winning both the Best Feature Award and the Waldo Salt Best Screenplay Award at Sundance. Together they also wrote the next Nossiter fiction feature film Signs and Wonders in 2000 selected for the official selection of the 50th Berlin International Film Festival [3] in 2000.

Lasdun has written four books of poetry, one of which, Landscape with Chainsaw,[4] was a finalist for the T S Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also selected as a TLS International Book of the Year.

His reviews and essays have appeared in Harper's , Granta , the London Review of Books  and The Guardian .

With his wife, Pia Davis, Lasdun has written two guidebooks dedicated to the combined pleasures of walking and eating: one in Tuscany and Umbria, the other in Provence.

He has taught creative writing at Princeton, NYU, the New York State Writers' Institute, the New School, Columbia University and Bennington College.

In 2013, he confessed that he was the Reader who turned down the Jane Somers novel (pseudonymously written by Doris Lessing, Nobel laureate for Literature) submitted to Jonathan Cape publishers, in the New Yorker "Page Turner" blog 23 July 2013.[5]

Critical appraisals of his work include reviews by James Wood in the Guardian[6] and by Gabriele Annan in the New York Review of Books.[7]


Short stories







  1. Book review by Jenny Turner in The Guardian
  2. Rowntree, Diana (12 January 2001). "Sir Denys Lasdun". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  3. "Berlinale: 2000 Programm". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  4. Birnbaum, Identity Theory (interview).
  5. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/07/doris-lessing-and-the-perils-of-the-pseudonymous-novel.html?mbid=social_retweet
  6. "Book review", The Guardian, London, UK, 1999-05-29.
  7. "Who Killed Bogomil Trumilcik?", New York Review of Books, 2002-05-09, retrieved 17 February 2014.
  8. Lasdun 2013.
  9. Writers Institute website
  10. The Short Story (UK) website
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