James Wilson was born in Cambridge, educated at Oxford, and now lives in London. He has written five novels: The Dark Clue (described by Allan Massie in The Scotsman as ‘wonderfully entertaining’, and by the Washington Post as ‘a stunning first novel’); The Bastard Boy (longlisted for the IMPAC Award); The Woman in the Picture (‘multi-layered, deeply absorbing and entertaining’ – The Times; ‘A superb achievement’ – Kevin Brownlow); Consolation (‘an animated, haunting and surprisingly uplifting novel’ – the Observer); and The Summer of Broken Stories ('sensational writing, an ensemble of great characters, an intriguing plot' - Tobias Jones). His work has been translated into Catalan, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.
James has written several stage plays, and worked as script-writer and consultant/ Associate Producer on a number of television projects, including the award-winning Savagery and the American Indian for BBC2. In 1996 he wrote and presented a five-part documentary series, Present Tense: The Enduring World of the Innu, for Radio 3. He is also the author of a critically-acclaimed work of narrative non-fiction, The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America, published by Picador in Britain and by Atlantic Monthly Press in America, which won a Myers Outstanding Book Award.
James was one of the founders of Bristol’s Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory theatre company, and is a long-standing member of the executive committee of Survival, an international organization that campaigns for the rights of indigenous peoples.