Jonathan Buckley

Non-fiction writer, Novelist


Jonathan Buckley is a novelist and guidebook writer. He was born in Birmingham, grew up in Dudley, and studied English literature at Sussex University, where he stayed on to take an MA in modernism. From there he moved to King’s College, London, where he researched the work of the Scottish poet/artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. He then worked as a bookshop manager, stagehand, university tutor, decorator, builder, book reviewer and maker of theatrical sets and props, before being commissioned to write The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto.

He went on to become an editorial director at Rough Guides, with responsibility for the company’s diversification into non-travel publishing, overseeing the creation of successful series on subjects such as music (from world music through hip-hop to opera), sport and computing. In addition, he wrote further guidebooks on Tuscany & Umbria and Florence and contributed to The Rough Guide to Classical Music and The Rough Guide to Opera.

His first novel The Biography of Thomas Lang was published by Fourth Estate in 1997; it was followed by Xerxes (1999), Ghost MacIndoe (2001), Invisible (2004), So He Takes the Dog (2006), Contact (2010), Telescope (2011), Nostalgia (2013), The river is the river (2015), The Great Concert of the Night (2018) and Live; live; live (2020).

In 2015 Jonathan won the BBC National Short Story Award with “Briar Road”.

More from Jonathan Buckley


Jonathan Buckley

Non-fiction writer, Novelist




  • University of Southampton, 2016–2020
  • University of Sussex, 2003–2005