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

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.

21 Feb 2019 - 9:03PM
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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.

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
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
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
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.

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
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.

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
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

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
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

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
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

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.

17 Nov 2018 - 5:25AM
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.

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
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’

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
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

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
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

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 - 2:53PM
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

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

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
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

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

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
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

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

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
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

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
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

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
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

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
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

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
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

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

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
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

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
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

Review | Ovidia Yu’s Singaporean sleuth is as clever and resourceful as ever in latest instalment of entertaining crime series

The Betel Nut Tree Mystery is the latest in the adventures of policewoman Chen Su Lin in Singapore. Set shortly before the outbreak of the second world war, it satisfyingly fuses cosy crime drama with incisive cultural history.

1 Jul 2018 - 6:44PM
Ovidia Yu’s Singaporean sleuth is as clever and resourceful as ever in latest instalment of entertaining crime series

The Betel Nut Tree Mystery is the latest in the adventures of policewoman Chen Su Lin in Singapore. Set shortly before the outbreak of the second world war, it satisfyingly fuses cosy crime drama with incisive cultural history.

Review | A dark, disturbing tale of teenage suffering and female strength in American author’s debut

Shobha Rao’s first novel portrays the almost relentless hardships faced by two Indian girls as they journey into adulthood in the US

21 Jun 2018 - 10:01AM
A dark, disturbing tale of teenage suffering and female strength in American author’s debut

Shobha Rao’s first novel portrays the almost relentless hardships faced by two Indian girls as they journey into adulthood in the US

Review | Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight repays the reader’s patience with a tale of secrecy in post-war London

The author’s seventh novel may be reluctant to reveal its plot, but if literary fiction is your thing, the meditations on memory, narration and perspective will pay dividends

20 Jun 2018 - 6:00PM
Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight repays the reader’s patience with a tale of secrecy in post-war London

The author’s seventh novel may be reluctant to reveal its plot, but if literary fiction is your thing, the meditations on memory, narration and perspective will pay dividends

Review | Family’s multi-generational tale hinges on fate of young concubine in 1930s Malaya

An intriguing clan photograph draws couple back in time into a world of power struggles and tragedy

8 Jun 2018 - 8:01AM
Family’s multi-generational tale hinges on fate of young concubine in 1930s Malaya

An intriguing clan photograph draws couple back in time into a world of power struggles and tragedy

American author on her Burma rebel leader mother and feeling disenchanted with Aung San Suu Kyi

Actress-turned-novelist Charmaine Craig’s mother – who went from beauty queen to resistance fighter – was the inspiration behind a 15-year project to ‘better understand Myanmar’s present through the past’

20 Jun 2018 - 12:37PM
American author on her Burma rebel leader mother and feeling disenchanted with Aung San Suu Kyi

Actress-turned-novelist Charmaine Craig’s mother – who went from beauty queen to resistance fighter – was the inspiration behind a 15-year project to ‘better understand Myanmar’s present through the past’

Review | Opium wars and Nanjing massacre turned into epic fantasy in Chinese author’s debut novel

Plus, a masterful thriller from British crime writer Belinda Bauer

24 Jul 2018 - 4:25PM
Opium wars and Nanjing massacre turned into epic fantasy in Chinese author’s debut novel

Plus, a masterful thriller from British crime writer Belinda Bauer