James Lasdun joins UEA as a UNESCO City of Literature
The writer James Lasdun joins the UEA creative writing programme today as a UNESCO City of Literature visiting professor. He will spend the spring semester helping students to develop their creative writing skills through a series of masterclasses and individual tutorials and will appear at the university’s literary festival on Wednesday 12th February. The UNESCO visiting professorship recognizes Norwich’s status as England’s first World City of Literature, joining Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City, Dublin and Reykjavik. James (pictured) is a widely-acclaimed author of novels, short stories, poetry, essays, screenplays and, most recently, the memoir ‘Give Me Everything You Have’ (2012), an account of being stalked by a former student. His 2006 novel ‘Seven Lies’ was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His 2001 poetry collection, ‘Landscape with Chainsaw’, was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize. The title story of one his four short story collections, ‘The Siege’ (2000), was adapted for cinema by Bernardo Bertolucci as ‘Besieged’. He also co-wrote the film ‘Sunday’, based on his own story ‘Ate Menos or The Miracle’, which won the Best Feature Award and the Waldo Salt Best Screenplay Award at the Sundance Festival. Born in London, he is the son of the late architect Sir Denys Lasdun, who designed the UEA campus. He lives in New York, and has taught at NYU, Columbia and Princeton. Margaret Atwood will join UEA as a second UNESCO visiting professor later this semester.