School of English and Modern Languages

  • Academic staff

  • Dr James Hawes

    Reader in Creative Writing

    School of English and Modern Languages

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

    Dr James Hawes

    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 483476


    Location: Headington Campus, Tonge Block, T415

    James is the author of six novels with Jonathan Cape. The first, A White Merc With Fins (1996), was a Sunday Times bestseller, as was his second, Rancid Aluminium (1997). This was filmed, starring Joseph Fiennes, whilst Michael Sheen starred in the adaptation of his third novel Dead Long Enough (2000).  His study of Kafka - Excavating Kafka - (“absolutely brilliant and utterly infuriating” Guardian, 2008) was the basis of a BBC documentary televised in November 2008. In 2018 his "The Shortest History of Germany" reached #2 in the Sunday Times bestsellers; in 2021 "The Shortest History of Emgland" made #4 in The Times bestsellers.


    James is currently working as "Series Story Consultant"  and on-screen talking head on the upcoming landmark 8-part BBCTV history of creativity in these islands, which will be broadcast in April 2022.