James Hawes (author)

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For other people named James Hawes, see James Hawes (disambiguation).

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

Early life and education[edit]

Hawes grew up in Gloucestershire. He graduated from Hertford College, Oxford and then worked as an English teacher in Spain. After a short stint as an archaeologist in Wales, he studied for a Ph.D. on Nietzsche and Kafka at University College, London in 1987. He lectured in Ireland between 1989 and 1991 before teaching German at 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".

His latest book is "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." His discoveries will be the subject of an entire exhibition in the Bonn City Museum from May–August 2015.

In 2008, James Hawes became Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University. In 2012 he was promoted to Reader.[1]


  • A White Merc With Fins (1996)
  • Rancid Aluminium (1997 - screenplay 2000)
  • Dead Long Enough (2000 - screenplay 2005)
  • White Powder, Green Light (2002)
  • Speak for England[2] (2005)
  • My Little Armalite (2008)
  • Excavating Kafka (2008)[3][4][5][6]
  • Englanders and Huns: How five decades of enmity led to the First World War (2014)[7]


  1. ^ "Dr James Hawes", brookes.ac.uk/
  2. ^ "All for Empire", The Guardian
  3. ^ "Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Life" in the US
  4. ^ "How Kafka-esque is Kafka?", Salon.com
  5. ^ "Franz Kafka’s porn brought out of the closet", The Times
  6. ^ "Franz Kafka, party animal", The Guardian
  7. ^ "Englanders and Huns", Waterstones

External links[edit]