James Kidd

James Kidd is a freelance writer based in Oxford, Britain. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Literary Review, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The National, Time Out and The Jerusalem Post among others. He hosts the This Writing Life podcast (thiswritinglife.co.uk), featuring interviews with writers such as Hanya Yanagihara, David Mitchell, Amit Chaudhuri and Meena Kandasamy, and co-hosts Lit Bits (litbits.co.uk), named by The Observer as one of its top three literary podcasts.
James Kidd
James Kidd is a freelance writer based in Oxford, Britain. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Literary Review, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The National, Time Out and The Jerusalem Post among others. He hosts the This Writing Life podcast (thiswritinglife.co.uk), featuring interviews with writers such as Hanya Yanagihara, David Mitchell, Amit Chaudhuri and Meena Kandasamy, and co-hosts Lit Bits (litbits.co.uk), named by The Observer as one of its top three literary podcasts.

Latest from James Kidd

Maoism’s inherent contradictions unpacked in China scholar Julia Lovell’s new book

Mao Zedong was a vehemently autocratic leader yet he compelled his Red Guards to dismantle the party that he himself had built. Rebels and regimes across the globe have remade Maoism in their own disparate images.

15 Jun 2019 - 3:32PM

Mao Zedong was a vehemently autocratic leader yet he compelled his Red Guards to dismantle the party that he himself had built. Rebels and regimes across the globe have remade Maoism in their own disparate images.

Maoism’s inherent contradictions unpacked in China scholar Julia Lovell’s new book
Review | E.L. James’ The Mister: absurd erotica that verges on uncomfortable

The charmingly affable writer keeps it kinky with yet another hanky-spanky page turner that ventures away from the Fifty Shades universe, although not too far.

9 May 2019 - 7:00PM

The charmingly affable writer keeps it kinky with yet another hanky-spanky page turner that ventures away from the Fifty Shades universe, although not too far.

E.L. James’ The Mister: absurd erotica that verges on uncomfortable
Review | Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me: a science-fiction soap opera that might be hard to compute

Author’s 15th novel shows what happens when artificial intelligence fails to comprehend human stupidity

20 Apr 2019 - 5:34PM

Author’s 15th novel shows what happens when artificial intelligence fails to comprehend human stupidity

Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me: a science-fiction soap opera that might be hard to compute
Hong Kong is ‘one of the unhappiest places I have been to’: British writer Rajeev Balasubramanyam

The British writer, whose latest novel, Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss, is out now, believes ‘people come to Hong Kong for one reason. To make money. And everyone is unhappy’.

14 Apr 2019 - 2:34AM

The British writer, whose latest novel, Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss, is out now, believes ‘people come to Hong Kong for one reason. To make money. And everyone is unhappy’.

Hong Kong is ‘one of the unhappiest places I have been to’: British writer Rajeev Balasubramanyam
Review | Empires of Dust: Jiang Zilong’s epic study of progress in China is engrossing, if exhausting

Jiang Zilong, the father of ‘reform literature’, does not disappoint, with his latest novel being huge in scale, ambition and word count.

4 Apr 2019 - 10:22AM

Jiang Zilong, the father of ‘reform literature’, does not disappoint, with his latest novel being huge in scale, ambition and word count.

Empires of Dust: Jiang Zilong’s epic study of progress in China is engrossing, if exhausting
Review | Broken Stars: Ken Liu’s new anthology of 16 rising Chinese science fiction writers

The collection features 14 writers including Regina Kanyu Wang, Xia Jia and Han Song, with stories exploring time travel, prophecy, love, madness, family, nature, apocalypse, the extraordinary coexisting with the everyday

28 Mar 2019 - 3:18AM

The collection features 14 writers including Regina Kanyu Wang, Xia Jia and Han Song, with stories exploring time travel, prophecy, love, madness, family, nature, apocalypse, the extraordinary coexisting with the everyday

Broken Stars: Ken Liu’s new anthology of 16 rising Chinese science fiction writers
Trump, Brexit, climate change: John Lanchester’s The Wall takes on every important issue facing the world right now

The British writer’s fifth novel takes on immigration, Brexit, Trump, nationalism, refugees and environmental collapse, but its genesis can be found in Lanchester’s deep Hong Kong roots.

22 Feb 2019 - 1:50PM

The British writer’s fifth novel takes on immigration, Brexit, Trump, nationalism, refugees and environmental collapse, but its genesis can be found in Lanchester’s deep Hong Kong roots.

Trump, Brexit, climate change: John Lanchester’s The Wall takes on every important issue facing the world right now
Review | Where Reasons End – Yiyun Li delves deep into son’s suicide in harrowing, beautiful novel

The profoundly sad premise might prove challenging for some but the rewards are spare, austere prose and a ‘realer than real’ read.

14 Feb 2019 - 5:56AM

The profoundly sad premise might prove challenging for some but the rewards are spare, austere prose and a ‘realer than real’ read.

Where Reasons End – Yiyun Li delves deep into son’s suicide in harrowing, beautiful novel
Murder in Peking — two hot takes on a grisly 1937 cold case involving British teen

Was Pamela Werner, who was 19 when she was raped, mutilated and left to die in a ditch, the victim of a trio of sexual deviants or a spurned wannabe suitor? Novelist Paul French and ex-police officer Graeme Sheppard have assessed the evidence.

12 Feb 2019 - 10:09AM

Was Pamela Werner, who was 19 when she was raped, mutilated and left to die in a ditch, the victim of a trio of sexual deviants or a spurned wannabe suitor? Novelist Paul French and ex-police officer Graeme Sheppard have assessed the evidence.

Murder in Peking — two hot takes on a grisly 1937 cold case involving British teen
Review | Louis Cha ‘Jin Yong’ novel Legends of the Condor Heroes Book Two is out in English, and it’s thrilling

Having entranced generations of Asian readers, with this latest release Western audiences can discover why ‘Jin Yong’ was so revered in Asia; his novel continues the story of Guo Jing, 13th century kung fu fighting hero.

31 Jan 2019 - 10:43AM

Having entranced generations of Asian readers, with this latest release Western audiences can discover why ‘Jin Yong’ was so revered in Asia; his novel continues the story of Guo Jing, 13th century kung fu fighting hero.

Louis Cha ‘Jin Yong’ novel Legends of the Condor Heroes Book Two is out in English, and it’s thrilling
What to read in 2019 – Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood and R.F. Kuang’s second novel
  • Literary legends Haruki Murakami and Mark Haddon return while Yukiko Motoya makes her English-language debut
2 Jan 2019 - 9:16PM
  • Literary legends Haruki Murakami and Mark Haddon return while Yukiko Motoya makes her English-language debut
What to read in 2019 – Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood and R.F. Kuang’s second novel
The best books of 2018 – Haruki Murakami, Keigo Higashino, and If Cats Disappeared From the World

Our picks have a strong Japanese flavour, from Keigo Higashino’s whodunnit Newcomer to Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore and non-fiction Ghosts of the Tsunami.

19 Dec 2018 - 8:50PM

Our picks have a strong Japanese flavour, from Keigo Higashino’s whodunnit Newcomer to Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore and non-fiction Ghosts of the Tsunami.

The best books of 2018 – Haruki Murakami, Keigo Higashino, and If Cats Disappeared From the World
Our loveless world: the selfishness that preoccupies Your Name filmmaker Genki Kawamura

A global generation drunk on self-love and unable to love other people preoccupies Genki Kawamura, the Japanese filmmaker whose 2016 hit Your Name is being remade in English by Star Wars director J.J. Abrams.

27 Dec 2018 - 1:50PM

A global generation drunk on self-love and unable to love other people preoccupies Genki Kawamura, the Japanese filmmaker whose 2016 hit Your Name is being remade in English by Star Wars director J.J. Abrams.

Our loveless world: the selfishness that preoccupies Your Name filmmaker Genki Kawamura
Review | Newcomer, by Keigo Higashino, a genre-splicing masterclass in crime fiction

Distrust of the ‘other’ is the foundation of the Japanese author’s latest novel

13 Dec 2018 - 5:45PM

Distrust of the ‘other’ is the foundation of the Japanese author’s latest novel

Newcomer, by Keigo Higashino, a genre-splicing masterclass in crime fiction
Review | Yu Hua’s short stories portray disturbing personal and political realities of modern China

The April 3rd incident cements the Chinese author’s position as a literary enfant terrible, mixing techniques and times to weave narratives that are more fantasy than fiction

29 Nov 2018 - 6:45PM

The April 3rd incident cements the Chinese author’s position as a literary enfant terrible, mixing techniques and times to weave narratives that are more fantasy than fiction

Yu Hua’s short stories portray disturbing personal and political realities of modern China
Review | Fire & Blood, Game of Thrones prequel, sees George R.R. Martin stick to winning formula of incest, dragons and destruction

The latest book from the Game of Thrones creator tracks the Targaryen empire’s intimately entwined family tree

21 Nov 2018 - 10:32AM

The latest book from the Game of Thrones creator tracks the Targaryen empire’s intimately entwined family tree

Fire & Blood, Game of Thrones prequel, sees George R.R. Martin stick to winning formula of incest, dragons and destruction
Stephen King’s slim new book Elevation is his best since 22.11.63 and tackles weighty issues

In his new book, the master storyteller returns to Castle Rock with an uplifting tale that mixes the magical with the mundane and helps forge a heart-warming empathy with small-town America.

15 Nov 2018 - 8:32PM

In his new book, the master storyteller returns to Castle Rock with an uplifting tale that mixes the magical with the mundane and helps forge a heart-warming empathy with small-town America.

Stephen King’s slim new book Elevation is his best since 22.11.63 and tackles weighty issues
Geoff Dyer on China’s can-do spirit, Clint Eastwood’s squint and Forbidden City romance

As he prepares for the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the bestselling author Geoff Dyer reflects on his visits to China, says he will ‘use any excuse to go back’

2 Nov 2018 - 10:01AM

As he prepares for the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the bestselling author Geoff Dyer reflects on his visits to China, says he will ‘use any excuse to go back’

Geoff Dyer on China’s can-do spirit, Clint Eastwood’s squint and Forbidden City romance
Review | Frederick Forsyth’s swansong The Fox is a worthy, if faintly fogeyish, climax to a thrilling career

The author tackles technological espionage in his final novel, complete with the palpable tension he has built his career on

13 Oct 2018 - 7:02PM

The author tackles technological espionage in his final novel, complete with the palpable tension he has built his career on

Frederick Forsyth’s swansong The Fox is a worthy, if faintly fogeyish, climax to a thrilling career
Man Booker Prize 2018: time to place your bets on this year’s six finalists

With exemplary novels covering everything from poetry, magical realism and historical horror to choose from, who the judges will deem worthy is anyone’s guess

12 Oct 2018 - 2:29PM

With exemplary novels covering everything from poetry, magical realism and historical horror to choose from, who the judges will deem worthy is anyone’s guess

Man Booker Prize 2018: time to place your bets on this year’s six finalists
Review | J.K. Rowling channels Dickens for latest Galbraith outing, Lethal White, a gripping romp of a read

Jarring plot conveniences and overplayed romance aside, the novel sees crime fiction’s newest hero take readers on a reliably entertaining roller coaster

1 Oct 2018 - 3:07PM

Jarring plot conveniences and overplayed romance aside, the novel sees crime fiction’s newest hero take readers on a reliably entertaining roller coaster

J.K. Rowling channels Dickens for latest Galbraith outing, Lethal White, a gripping romp of a read
Who was Detective Dee? Unravelling the mystery of a Tang-dynasty hero

Tsui Hark’s latest blockbuster highlights how the legendary legal defender’s image has been reinterpreted in contemporary media

27 Sep 2018 - 9:52AM

Tsui Hark’s latest blockbuster highlights how the legendary legal defender’s image has been reinterpreted in contemporary media

Who was Detective Dee? Unravelling the mystery of a Tang-dynasty hero
Review | The Fall of Gondolin, Tolkien’s posthumous Middle Earth prequel is driven by ‘magic and destiny’

Written before both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Fall of Gondolin – the last of the much-loved fantasy author’s three ‘Great Tales’ – has finally made it into print

17 Sep 2018 - 12:01PM

Written before both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Fall of Gondolin – the last of the much-loved fantasy author’s three ‘Great Tales’ – has finally made it into print

The Fall of Gondolin, Tolkien’s posthumous Middle Earth prequel is driven by ‘magic and destiny’
Japan’s stoicism in the face of natural disaster, and the tragedy of the tsunami-hit school: a British journalist investigates

Richard Lloyd Parry ponders the paradoxes of Japan - the constant threat of natural disasters in such a safe country, the beauty and dread of its post-tsunami landscapes, and the fatalism that elsewhere would be fury

24 Aug 2018 - 1:47PM

Richard Lloyd Parry ponders the paradoxes of Japan - the constant threat of natural disasters in such a safe country, the beauty and dread of its post-tsunami landscapes, and the fatalism that elsewhere would be fury

Japan’s stoicism in the face of natural disaster, and the tragedy of the tsunami-hit school: a British journalist investigates
Review | Chinese science-fiction author Liu Cixin’s Ball Lightning rewards readers patient enough to navigate the techspeak

Flawed prelude to The Three-Body Problem, the sci-fi maestro’s major hit, asks the big questions but labours over small details

16 Aug 2018 - 9:02PM

Flawed prelude to The Three-Body Problem, the sci-fi maestro’s major hit, asks the big questions but labours over small details

Chinese science-fiction author Liu Cixin’s Ball Lightning rewards readers patient enough to navigate the techspeak
Review | Bleak reality confronts the Chinese dream in Yan Lianke’s gruesome, gripping novel, The Day the Sun Died

Metaphors abound as novelist paints a powerful portrait of his nation’s slide into a prosperous dystopia

1 Aug 2018 - 6:01PM

Metaphors abound as novelist paints a powerful portrait of his nation’s slide into a prosperous dystopia

Bleak reality confronts the Chinese dream in Yan Lianke’s gruesome, gripping novel, The Day the Sun Died
Review | Fight Club’s Chuck Palahniuk takes unsubtle aim at Trump’s America in first novel for four years

Set against a dystopian backdrop, Adjustment Day simmers with anger as it offers a less than sophisticated satirical takedown of current societal ills

28 Jul 2018 - 1:01PM

Set against a dystopian backdrop, Adjustment Day simmers with anger as it offers a less than sophisticated satirical takedown of current societal ills

Fight Club’s Chuck Palahniuk takes unsubtle aim at Trump’s America in first novel for four years
China’s bloody history and Game of Thrones-style fantasy unite in author R.F. Kuang’s debut novel

Chinese-American writer R.F. Kuang describes her first novel, The Poppy War, as ‘revenge fantasy’, its fictional world steeped in brutal, historical fact

25 Jul 2018 - 8:01PM

Chinese-American writer R.F. Kuang describes her first novel, The Poppy War, as ‘revenge fantasy’, its fictional world steeped in brutal, historical fact

China’s bloody history and Game of Thrones-style fantasy unite in author R.F. Kuang’s debut novel
American journalist investigates organised crime in Southeast Asia — drugs, dognapping, defectors and role of the Catholic Church

From the drug dens of Myanmar to the mean streets of Thailand, writer Patrick Winn has come to understand his adopted home – and offer a written antidote to misrepresentations in Western media

23 Jul 2018 - 7:09PM

From the drug dens of Myanmar to the mean streets of Thailand, writer Patrick Winn has come to understand his adopted home – and offer a written antidote to misrepresentations in Western media

American journalist investigates organised crime in Southeast Asia  — drugs, dognapping, defectors and role of the Catholic Church
The best books for summer 2018, wherever and however you’re holidaying

Whether hitting the road, setting sail or lounging under the sun, match your reading material to your chosen break

12 Jul 2018 - 8:23PM

Whether hitting the road, setting sail or lounging under the sun, match your reading material to your chosen break

The best books for summer 2018, wherever and however you’re holidaying