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James Hawes (author)

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Name  James Hawes
Role  Novelist

Movies  Dead Long Enough
James Hawes (author) oxfordliteraryfestivalorgimagesauthor514james
Books  Excavating Kafka, Why You Should Read Kaf, Speak for England, A white Merc with fins, White Powder - Green Lig

Education  Hertford College, Oxford

James Hawes (born 1960) is a British novelist who has also written screen adaptations for two of his works.


James Hawes (author) httpswwwbrookesacukuploadedImagesMainSite

Early life and education

Hawes grew up in Gloucestershire, Edinburgh and Shropshire. He took a First in German at Hertford College, Oxford, then did a postgrad year in theatre studies in Cardiff, Wales, which has been his base ever since. Having failed as an actor, he worked as an English teacher in Spain. In 1985-6 he was in charge of CADW excavations at the now-UNESCO World Heritage site of Blaenavon Ironworks. Following this, he studied for a Ph.D. on Nietzsche and German literature 1900-1914 at University College, London in 1987-89. He lectured in German at Maynooth College in Ireland between 1989 and 1991 before doing so at Sheffield University and Swansea University.


To date, he has published six novels, two of which he has adapted as screenplays for movie productions.

Upon publication of his fifth novel, Speak for England (2005), The Guardian said that "James Hawes has matured into a wonderful satirist." His latest novel is My Little Armalite (2008), of which The Guardian remarked: "Hawes has developed into a prolifically inventive and increasingly subtle satirist'.

His Kafka biography, Excavating Kafka (2008), caused outrage in Germany but was hailed (again in The Guardian) as "this utterly brilliant and absolutely infuriating book".

In 2008, James Hawes became Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University. In 2012 he was promoted to Reader. Among his former students there are Kit de Waal ("My Name is Leon") and Catherine Chanter ("The Well").

In 2015 Simon & Schuster published "Englanders and Huns: how fifty years of enmity led to the First World War", a radical new look at the Anglo-German rivalry of the later nineteenth century. In her full-page review in The Times (19/2/2014) Lucy Hughes-Hallet wrote that "his demolition job is performed with wit and finesse, and his book is full of enlightening surprises ... he is an admirable guide, leading us through this tangled intellectual copse." The book was shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political Books of the Year. One chapter - on the long-forgotten murder of Queen Victoria's personal chef in Bonn in 1865 - became the subject of an entire exhibition in the Bonn City Museum from May–August 2015.

His latest book is "The Shortest History of Germany" (Old St.), which was published in May 2017 to excellent reviews from newspapers as diverse as The Spectator, the Observer, the Oldie and the New European. The Catholic newspaper The Tablet declared it "a daring attempt to remedy the ignorance of centuries in little over 200 pages". The Economist described the book as a "must-read".


James Hawes (author) Wikipedia

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