James Lasdun was born in Hammersmith, London in 1958, to parents Susan Bendit and Denys Lasdun. He moved to America when he was young and has made a career for himself on the east coast. Lasdun has written in a number of different forms throughout his career, engaging with film, fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. Lasdun’s first collection of poetry was published in 1988 and was titled, ‘A Jump Start.’ Around this same time period he was also publishing his first collection of short fiction, ‘Delirium Eclipse a.k.a. The Silver Age.’ His second collection of poetry, ‘Woman Police Officer in Elevator,’ was published a number of years later, in 1997.
During the later years of the 1990s, Lasdun worked alongside American filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter, to write the screenplay for the film, ‘Sunday.’ The film won the 1997 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Best Film and Best Screenplay as well as the Deauville Film Festival Grand Prize for Best Film. The script for ‘Sunday’ was based on Lasdun’s own short story, ‘Ate Menos’ or ‘The Miracle.’ The two writers would work together again on Nossiter’s next feature film, ‘Signs and Wonders.’
In 1998, after the publication of his second book of poetry, Lasdun released a collection of short stories titled, ‘The Siege: Selected Stories’ This volume was used as the basis for a film by Bernardo Bertolucci, titled Besieged.
The 2000s have been the most productive period in Lasdun’s career, with all of his greatest works and commendations, received within the last eighteen years. Two of his most important works were his novels ‘The Horned Man’ released in 2002, and ‘Seven Lies’ which was an Economist Book of the Year and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2006. More recently, he has written a memoir, Give Me Everything You Have.’ It was in this volume that he confessed the story of an alleged stalking by a past student.
Throughout his career so far, Lasdun has received a number of notable award. These include being listed as a finalist for the T S Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize, for his book of poetry, ‘Landscape with Chainsaw.’ This collection was later selected as a TLS International Book of the Year. He has taught at a variety of different universities throughout America during his professional life. These include: Columbia University, Princeton and NYU.