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James Meek - Author

About the Author

James Meek was born in London in 1962 and grew up in Dundee. We Are Now Beginning Our Descent is his fourth novel. His previous book, The People's Act of Love (2005), won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the SAC Book of the Year Award, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into more than twenty languages.

He has published two collections of short stories, Last Orders and The Museum Of Doubt, and contributed to the acclaimed Rebel Inc anthologies The Children Of Albion Rovers and The Rovers Return.

He has worked as a journalist since 1985, and his reporting from Iraq and about Guantanamo Bay won a number of British and international awards. In the autumn of 2001 he reported for the Guardian from Afghanistan on the war against the Taliban and the liberation of Kabul.


 Photograph © Jo Kane

Featured books by James Meek

Other books by James Meek

To Calais, In Ordinary Time

To Calais, In Ordinary Time

Author: James Meek Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/08/2019

A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, SUNDAY TIMES and SPECTATOR Three journeys. One road. England, 1348. A gentlewoman flees an odious arranged marriage, a Scots proctor sets out for Avignon and a young ploughman in search of freedom is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais. Coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. As the journey unfolds, overshadowed by the archers' past misdeeds and clerical warnings of the imminent end of the world, the wayfarers must confront the nature of their loves and desires. A tremendous feat of language and empathy, it summons a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien and eerily reflective of our own. James Meek's extraordinary To Calais, In Ordinary Time is a novel about love, class, faith, loss, gender and desire - set against one of the biggest cataclysms of human history.

To Calais, In Ordinary Time

To Calais, In Ordinary Time

Author: James Meek Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/08/2019

A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, SUNDAY TIMES and SPECTATOR Three journeys. One road. England, 1348. A gentlewoman flees an odious arranged marriage, a Scots proctor sets out for Avignon and a young ploughman in search of freedom is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais. Coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. As the journey unfolds, overshadowed by the archers' past misdeeds and clerical warnings of the imminent end of the world, the wayfarers must confront the nature of their loves and desires. A tremendous feat of language and empathy, it summons a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien and eerily reflective of our own. James Meek's extraordinary To Calais, In Ordinary Time is a novel about love, class, faith, loss, gender and desire - set against one of the biggest cataclysms of human history.

The People's Act Of Love

The People's Act Of Love

Author: James Meek Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/06/2019

1919, Siberia. Deep in the unforgiving landscape a town lies under military rule, awaiting the remorseless assault of Bolsheviks along the Trans-Siberian railway. One night a stranger, Samarin, appears from the woods with a tale of escape from an Arctic prison, insisting a cannibal is on his trail. Only Anna, a beautiful young widow, trusts his story. When a local shaman is found dead, suspicion and terror engulf the isolated community, which harbours a secret of its own . . .

Dreams of Leaving and Remaining

Dreams of Leaving and Remaining

Author: James Meek Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/03/2019

Since Britain's 2016 referendum on EU membership, the nation has been profoundly split: one side fantasizing that the referendum will never be acted upon, the other entrenched in questionable assumptions about reclaimed sovereignty and independence. Underlying the cleavage are primal myths, deeper histories, and political folk-legends. James Meek,`the George Orwell of our times', goes in search of the stories and consequences arising out of a nation's alienation from itself. In Dreams of Leaving and Remaining, Meek meets farmers and fishermen intent on exiting the EU despite the loss of protections they will incur. He reports on a Cadbury's factory shut down and moved to Poland in the name of free market economics, exploring the impact on the local community left behind. He charts how the NHS is coping with the twin burdens of austerity and an aging population. Dreams of Leaving and Remaining is urgent reporting from one of Britain's finest journalists. James Meek asks what we can recover from the debris of an old nation as we head towards new horizons, and what we must leave behind.There are no easy answers, and what he creates instead is a masterly portrait of an anxious, troubled nation.

Private Island Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else

Private Island Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else

Author: James Meek Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2015

In a little over a generation the bones and sinews of the British economy - rail, energy, water, postal services, municipal housing - have been sold to remote, unaccountable private owners. In a series of brilliant portraits James Meek shows how Britain's common wealth became private, and the impact it has had on us all. In a series of panoramic accounts, Meek explores the human stories behind the incremental privatization of the nation over the last three decades. As our national assets are being sold, the new buyers reap the rewards, and the ordinary consumer is left to pay the ever-rising bill. Urgent, powerfully written and deeply moving, Private Island is a passionate anatomy of the state of the nation for readers of Chavs and Whoops!

The Heart Broke In

The Heart Broke In

Author: James Meek Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2013

EVERY ACTION HAS A CONSEQUENCE Bec Shepherd is a scientist struggling to lead a good life Ritchie, her brother, is a TV star with skeletons in his closet Alex wants a family if he could only meet the right woman . . . One man has the information to destroy them all

Drivetime

Drivetime

Author: James Meek Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/08/2008

Sounds like easy money: collecting an antique for a rich stranger. Alan Allen, freshly unemployed, short of cash, and caught up in a bizarre case of mistaken identity, is about to find out otherwise. But not before being swept on a European wild-goose chase in this refreshing, surreal and gloriously funny novel.

The Museum Of Doubt

The Museum Of Doubt

Author: James Meek Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2006

The Museum of Doubt is a new collection of surreal and unnerving short stories from award-winning writer James Meek. The array of characters who populate Meek's vague and elusive worlds are driven by paranoia and doubts, as well as hopes and fears of things only half-glimpsed.

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