James Wood has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 2007. In 2009, he won the National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism. He was the chief literary critic at the Guardian from 1992 to 1995, and a book critic at the New Republic from 1995 to 2007. He has published a number of books with Cape, including How Fiction Works, which has been translated into thirteen languages.
James Wood is one of literature's true lovers, and his deeply felt, contentious essays are thrilling in their reach and moral seriousness -- Susan Sontag Like all good critics, James Wood is a story-teller of the art of reading, recreating the experience on the page for us' -- Francis Spufford James Wood is a close reader of genius... By turns luscious and muscular, committed and disdaining, passionate and minutely considered -- John Banville The most urgent and morally demanding critic around -- Guardian An authentic literary critic, very rare in this bad time... Wood is always urgent, lucid, and interesting -- Harold Bloom Wood writes more incisively than almost anyone producing criticism today. His ability to transform complex, anxious thought into lucid, exciting prose is everywhere present -- Janet Malcolm James Wood has been called our best young critic. This is not true. He is our best critic; he thinks with a sublime ferocity... To enter Wood's mind is to cross a threshold: from the reviewer commonplaces that pass for essay-writing into the intellectual daring that portends literary permanence -- Cynthia Ozick The most influential critic of his generation -- William Skidelsky * New Statesman * Deservedly famous for the intellectual dazzle, literary acuteness and moral seriousness of his essays on everything from the King James Bible to Don DeLillo ... Wood writes like a dream -- Daniel Mendelsohn * New York Times Book Review * James Wood, the critic, is one of the few living practitioners of his craft who will be read fifty years from now -- Brian Morton * The Nation *