Fellow at University of Dundee, 2010-12
John Keay has been a professional writer and traveller for forty years. Once a journalist (principally for the Economist) and then a broadcaster (Radios 3 and 4) he specialises in Asian history, though not exclusively. His twenty books include India: A History (reprinted fifteen times in ten years) and the just published and 'exquisitely written' (the Observer) China: A History. Into India (Murray, 1973) remained in print for thirty years; his history of the East India Company is still in print after twenty years. Other books include two volumes on the Western Himalayas, contemporary histories of both the Middle East and the Far East and, as editor, The Royal Geographical Society's History of World Exploration (Hamlyn 1991), the Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland (HarperCollins 1994) and the latest edition of the London Encyclopaedia (Macmillan 2009). Several of his titles have been prize-listed, though none has won. In 2009 the Royal Society for Asian Affairs awarded him its Sykes Memorial Medal for his literary contribution to Asian studies. He reviews, when asked, for the TLS, the Literary Review and Slightly Foxed. With his wife, the author Julia Keay, John lives in Argyll, keeps a few hens and enjoys visits from their four children.