Thank you for visiting. I’m John Garth, an award-winning author, a freelance writer, editor and speaker, and a researcher. I am the author of the acclaimed biographical Tolkien and the Great War, and I speak regularly on this and related topics, in person and on air. If you want to contact me, or explore what I've written, please see the links above.
With more than 2½ decades in journalism, in the past year alone I’ve interviewed major figures including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Carnegie-winning author Alan Garner and Turner Prize artist Elizabeth Price. For The Times, I’ve previewed the Magical Books exhibition at the Bodleian Library, featuring the work of Garner as well as Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper and Philip Pullman. For The Daily Beast, I’ve reviewed Tolkien’s long-awaited The Fall of Arthur, and for The Guardian I’ve reviewed Prajwal Parajuly’s groundbreaking short story collection The Gurkha’s Daughter.
I’ve also written book reviews in recent years for The Daily Beast, The Times, The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, The London Evening Standard, The Times Literary Supplement and others.
As a writer, researcher and reader I’m particularly interested in how personal lives intersect with the big shocks and surges in history – one of the threads in Tolkien and the Great War. The challenge of unearthing the past is a major spur. I want to discover not just the facts, but how it felt to be in that place and time, and how the background of influences and events shaped character and creativity.
I read widely. Particular interests are literary fiction, science fiction and fantasy, history, biography, myth and legend, and words and names. I might also dip into earth sciences, exploration, space, rock and pop, art – whatever seems to be calling out most urgently to be read.
I studied English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and I have since pursued a career in journalism and writing, including 13 years on the London Evening Standard and six years as a freelance. I live in Oxford with my wife Jessica and our daughter Lorelei.