Search-icon

James Lasdun

About This Author

James Lasdun was born in London and now lives in upstate New York. He has published two previous collections of stories, three books of poetry, and two novels, including The Horned Man, which was a New York Times Notable Book. His story “The Siege” was the basis for the Bernardo Bertolucci film Besieged.

Show less

James Lasdun was born in London and now lives in upstate New York. He has published two previous collections of stories, three books of poetry, and two novels, including The Horned Man, which was a New York Times Notable Book. His story “The Siege” was the basis for the Bernardo Bertolucci film Besieged.

Books by thisAuthor
  • Give Me Everything You Have

    Give Me Everything You Have
    On Being Stalked
    A true story of obsessive love turning to obsessive hate, Give Me Everything You Have chronicles the author’s strange and harrowing ordeal at the hands of a former student, a self-styled “verbal terrorist,” who began trying, in her words, to “ruin him.” Hate mail, online postings, and public accusations of plagiarism and sexual misconduct were her weapons of choice and, as with more conventional terrorist weapons, proved remarkably difficult to combat. James Lasdun’s account, while terrifying, is told with compassion and humor, and brilliantly succeeds in turning a highly personal story into a profound meditation on subjects as varied as madness, race, Middle East politics, and the meaning of honor and reputation in the Internet age.

    It's Beginning to Hurt

    It's Beginning to Hurt
    Stories
    The stories in this remarkable collection—including “An Anxious Man,” winner of the National Short Story Prize (UK)—are vibrant and gripping. James Lasdun’s great gift is his unfailing psychological instinct for the vertiginous moments when the essence of a life discloses itself. With forensic skill he exposes his characters’ hidden desires and fears, drawing back the folds of their familiar self-delusions, their images of themselves, their habits and routines, to reveal their interior lives with brilliant clarity.   In sharply evoked settings that range from the wilds of Northern Greece to the beaches of Cape Cod, these intensely dramatic tales chart the metamorphoses of their characters as they fall prey to the full range of human passions. They rise to unexpected heights of decency or stumble into comic or tragic folly. They throw themselves open to lust, longing, and paranoia—always recognizably mirrors of our own conflicted selves.   As James Wood has written, “James Lasdun seems to be one of the secret gardens of English writing . . . When we read him we know what language is for again.” This collection of haunting, richly humane pieces is further proof of the powers of an enormously inventive writer.

    Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria

    Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria
    Revised Edition
    James Lasdun and Pia Davis offer forty walks through the spectacular countryside of Tuscany and Umbria. Arranged for the utmost flexibility?from half-day outings easily accessible from a city base to day walks that can be linked together in a series?the itineraries combine the pleasures of walking and eating with one of the most enchanting landscapes in the world. Calling at medieval hill towns, secluded Benedictine abbeys, spring-fed pools, and Etruscan ruins, Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria enables travelers to discover Italy?s finest delights in a singularly rewarding way. Featuring: ? New and revised walks ? Clear, easy-to-follow maps ? Suggestions for local food and wine and the best restaurants, hotels, and family- run accommodations ? Half-day, full-day, or overnight itineraries ? Practical tips, including information on climate, what to take, what to wear, and much more

    Landscape with Chainsaw

    Landscape with Chainsaw
    An exuberant and bold series of poems drawing on the poet's life in the Catskill Mountains. Questions of exile and belonging figure prominently, as does the struggle to find a viable relationship with the natural world. In the chainsaw—the book's central image—all manner of human traits are reflected with an intense, often comical brilliance.

  • Seven Lies

    Seven Lies
    A Novel
    Part political thriller, part meditation on the nature of desire and betrayal,

    The Horned Man

    The Horned Man
    A Novel
    The Horned Man opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world. As Lawrence Miller—an English expatriate and professor of gender studies—tells the story of what appears to be an elaborate conspiracy to frame him for a series of brutal killings, we descend into a world of subtly deceptive appearances where persecutor and victim continually shift roles, where paranoia assumes an air of calm rationality, and where enlightenment itself casts a darkness in which the most nightmarish acts occur. As the novel races to its shocking conclusion, we follow Miller as he traverses the streets of Manhattan and the decaying suburbs beyond, in terrified pursuit of his pursuers. Written with sinuous grace and intellectual acuity, The Horned Man is an extraordinary, unforgettable first novel by an acclaimed writer and poet of unusual power. Reading group guide included.

    Moon Walking and Eating in Provence

    Moon Walking and Eating in Provence
    Foodie authors James Lasdun and Pia Davis offer forty walks through the extraordinary landscape of Provence, each specially designed to combine natural beauty, historical interest and, of course, world-class local cuisine. James and Pia offer a wide array of itineraries, from multi-day adventures that are linked by train to short half-day excursions. This is a guide that is perfect for both doers and dreamers — for those who are planning a trip to Provence and those who want to explore the region from the comfort of their home. From the fjord-like calanques near Marseilles, through the classic Provencal villages of the Luberon mountains, to the remote wilderness of the Mercantour National Park, Moon Walking and Eating in Provence guides travelers through the best sights — and flavors — of this remarkable region of France.

    Besieged

    Besieged
    His work has been described by the New York Times Book Review as an "elegant pathology report on the modern soul," and the Village Voice calls his prose "art that burrows into troubling new territory even as it glides by like a dream." Besieged shows his gift for exploring the undertones of contemporary experience at its most haunting and electrically charged. Against a variety of stunningly evoked backgrounds—from the teeming banks of the Ganges in Varanasi to a homeless shelter in New York—these powerful, intensely focused narratives reverberate, as Michiko Kakutani put it in the New York Times, "insistently in the reader's mind long after he has finished the book." In "Ate/Menos" or "The Miracle," a young man takes unscrupulous advantage of a woman who mistakes him for someone else and finds himself enmeshed in her desperate obsessions and nightmares. In "The Siege," a wealthy recluse falls in love with the immigrant woman who lives in his basement. On discovering she is married and that her husband is a political prisoner, he embarks on a course of action that will lead simultaneously to his destruction and to his salvation. Two of the stories in this collection were made into major independent film. "Ate Menos" was the basis for the film Sunday, which won the Grand Jury Best Feature Award at Sundance. "The Siege" was adapted by Bernardo Bertolucci for his film Besieged.

  • The Horned Man: A Novel

    The Horned Man: A Novel
    "Unputdownable... a masterpiece of chilling, mesmerizing control.'"—Michael Dirda, Washington Post The Horned Man opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world. As Lawrence Miller—an English expatriate and professor of gender studies—tells the story of what appears to be an elaborate conspiracy to frame him for a series of brutal killings, we descend into a world of subtly deceptive appearances where persecutor and victim continually shift roles, where paranoia assumes an air of calm rationality, and where enlightenment itself casts a darkness in which the most nightmarish acts occur. As the novel races to its shocking conclusion, we follow Miller as he traverses the streets of Manhattan and the decaying suburbs beyond, in terrified pursuit of his pursuers. Written with sinuous grace and intellectual acuity, The Horned Man is an extraordinary, unforgettable first novel by an acclaimed writer and poet of unusual power. Reading group guide included.

    The Woman Who Rode Away; St. Mawr; The Princess

    The Woman Who Rode Away; St. Mawr; The Princess
    Three revelatory novellas by a twentieth-century master The works collected here explore the profound effects on protagonists who embark on psychological voyages of liberation. The Woman Who Rode Away follows one woman’s religious quest in Mexico. St. Mawr displays Lawrence’s mastery of satire in a scathing depiction of London’s fashionable horse-riding scene. In The Princess, a detached woman traveling through New Mexico finds herself in an intimate relationship with her male guide.

    After Ovid

    After Ovid
    New Metamorphoses
    Ovid's Metamorphoses is one of the great works in classical literature, and a primary source for our knowledge of much of classic mythology, in which the relentless theme of transformation stands as a primary metaphor for the often cataclysmic dynamics of life itself. For this book, British poets Michael Hofmann and James Lasdun have invited more than forty leading English-language poets to create their own idiomatic contemporary versions of some of the most famous and notorious myths from the Metamorphoses. Apollo and Daphne, Pyramus and Thisbe, Proserpina, Marsyas, Medea, Baucis and Philemon, Orpheus and Eurydice--these and many other immortal tales are given fresh and startling life in exciting new versions. The contributors--among them Fleur Adcock, Amy Clampitt, Jorie Graham, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Lawrence Joseph, Kenneth Koch, Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, Les Murray, Robert Pinsky, Frederick Seidel, Charles Simic, and C. K. Williams--constitute an impressive roster of today's major poets. After Ovid is a powerful re-envisioning of a fundamental work of literature as well as a remarkable affirmation of the current state of poetry in English.

Bookish