James Kidd

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

How Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan is wowing Britain’s literary circles with first collection, Flèche

Since moving to London, Chan has been named among the top 10 most influential BAME writers in Britain. In 2017, aged 27, she became the youngest shortlisted nominee for Forward Prize for a single poem.

5 Dec 2019 - 6:15PM

Since moving to London, Chan has been named among the top 10 most influential BAME writers in Britain. In 2017, aged 27, she became the youngest shortlisted nominee for Forward Prize for a single poem.

How Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan is wowing Britain’s literary circles with first collection, Flèche
Review | The Supernova Era cements Cixin Liu’s position as leader of the sci-fi pack

Absorbing story of children ruling China after adults die out in a cosmic event looks at the perils of play and has echoes in today’s generational conflicts.

27 Nov 2019 - 5:19PM

Absorbing story of children ruling China after adults die out in a cosmic event looks at the perils of play and has echoes in today’s generational conflicts.

The Supernova Era cements Cixin Liu’s position as leader of the sci-fi pack
Review | Drugs, celebrity spats, rock ’n’ roll: Elton John’s Me is a lighthearted yet sombre look at an extraordinary life

The British pop icon’s life has always been an open book but his roller-coaster of an autobiography is still worth a read.

25 Oct 2019 - 2:20PM

The British pop icon’s life has always been an open book but his roller-coaster of an autobiography is still worth a read.

Drugs, celebrity spats, rock ’n’ roll: Elton John’s Me is a lighthearted yet sombre look at an extraordinary life
Post-partum depression: a Chinese-Canadian mother’s graphic memoir demystifies the mood disorder

In Dear Scarlet, Chinese-Canadian author Teresa Wong shares her experience with the ‘black cloud’ that accompanies postpartum mood disorders.

14 Sep 2019 - 9:41PM

In Dear Scarlet, Chinese-Canadian author Teresa Wong shares her experience with the ‘black cloud’ that accompanies postpartum mood disorders.

Post-partum depression: a Chinese-Canadian mother’s graphic memoir demystifies the mood disorder
Review | The Testaments, sequel to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, is well worth the 34-year wait

Few sequels have been as hotly anticipated – or as timely – as this long-awaited novel, and the follow-up to Atwood’s 1985 dystopian masterpiece is a worthy second instalment.

10 Sep 2019 - 6:26PM

Few sequels have been as hotly anticipated – or as timely – as this long-awaited novel, and the follow-up to Atwood’s 1985 dystopian masterpiece is a worthy second instalment.

The Testaments, sequel to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, is well worth the 34-year wait
Chinese-American writer H.T. Tsiang’s novel The Hanging on Union Square is now a Penguin Classic

The poet, activist, author and actor’s roller-coaster life is being re-examined along with his 1935 novel, The Hanging on Union Square, now republished as a Penguin Classic.

31 Aug 2019 - 10:11PM

The poet, activist, author and actor’s roller-coaster life is being re-examined along with his 1935 novel, The Hanging on Union Square, now republished as a Penguin Classic.

Chinese-American writer H.T. Tsiang’s novel The Hanging on Union Square is now a Penguin Classic
Review | Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte brings Cervantes’ epic Don Quixote into the modern age

An ever playful, layered retelling of the tragi-comedy sees the delusional Don Quixote reborn as an ageing Indian salesman tilting at reality television.

24 Aug 2019 - 3:45AM

An ever playful, layered retelling of the tragi-comedy sees the delusional Don Quixote reborn as an ageing Indian salesman tilting at reality television.

Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte brings Cervantes’ epic Don Quixote into the modern age
Review | The Dragon Republic: R.F. Kuang’s follow-up to The Poppy War unites China’s bloody history with epic fantasy

R.F. Kuang’s second book picks up where the first left off, with heroine Rin on the run.

23 Aug 2019 - 2:49AM

R.F. Kuang’s second book picks up where the first left off, with heroine Rin on the run.

The Dragon Republic: R.F. Kuang’s follow-up to The Poppy War unites China’s bloody history with epic fantasy
Liu Cixin’s sci-fi masterpiece, the Three-Body Problem trilogy, gets a mind-boggling fanfic sequel

The Redemption of Time, by Baoshu, transports Liu’s characters into a new universe.

1 Aug 2019 - 11:11PM

The Redemption of Time, by Baoshu, transports Liu’s characters into a new universe.

Liu Cixin’s sci-fi masterpiece, the Three-Body Problem trilogy, gets a mind-boggling fanfic sequel
Review | Exhalation by Ted Chiang: new collection of sci-fi short stories explores human relationships

Exhalation by Ted Chiang includes nine tales, most of them masterpieces while a couple don’t quite hit the mark.

25 Jul 2019 - 10:39AM

Exhalation by Ted Chiang includes nine tales, most of them masterpieces while a couple don’t quite hit the mark.

Exhalation by Ted Chiang: new collection of sci-fi short stories explores human relationships
Nine of the best books to read this summer, wherever you go on holiday

Find answers to existential questions, learn how to arm yourself in the fight against climate change and explore the world beneath your feet, all in the pages of a book.

14 Jul 2019 - 3:05PM

Find answers to existential questions, learn how to arm yourself in the fight against climate change and explore the world beneath your feet, all in the pages of a book.

Nine of the best books to read this summer, wherever you go on holiday
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