Wesley Stace was born in Hastings, Sussex in 1965, and educated at The King's School, Canterbury, and Jesus College, Cambridge. Under the name, John Wesley Harding, he has released 15 albums, ranging from traditional folk to full-on rock music. His most recent pop release Adam's Apple (2004) was called "the finest album of his career" (All Music Guide), "one of his best, a sharp collection of pop that cleverly weds sunny melodies to dark matters" (The New Yorker) and "a dazzling piece of popcraft that shows wide range and real heart" (No Depression.)
John Wesley Harding has been joined onstage by Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, John Prine, Bruce Springsteen (with whom he recorded a duet on his album Awake), Joan Baez, Peter Buck, Evan Dando, David Baddiel, Rick Moody, Scott MacCaughey and Robyn Hitchcock amongst others. He has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His songs have been featured in films (including High Fidelity) and covered by other artists. His most recent record was "Songs of Misfortune", a (mostly) a capella recording by The Love Hall Tryst, featuring the ballads from his first novel, Misfortune. The DVD "A Bloody Show" documents an epic show filmed at Bumbershoot in Seattle, featuring songs from Misfortune, on which JWH is accompanied by a rock band, a string quartet and The Love Hall Tryst, and readings from the novel, with Robyn Hitchcock as the narrator. His next record, recorded with The Minus Five, is to be released in 2008.
Misfortune, under his real name Wesley Stace, was published in 2004 by Little, Brown (USA) and Jonathan Cape (UK) - translations followed throughout the world. It became an international bestseller, and was nominated for The Guardian First Book Award, The Commonwealth Writers' Prize, The James Tiptree, Jr. Award, listed as one of the books of the year in The Washington Post and The Boston Phoenix, and was one of Amazon's Top Ten Novels of the Year. His second novel, BY GEORGE, was published to great acclaim in August 2007, revealing Stace to be "one of the freshest fictional voices at work today" (Seattle Times), with "a startling imaginative talent and an anarchic sense of humour, but, crucially... an ability to bind good ideas to an absorbing plot" (The Times Literary Supplement). The Washington Post called the book "glorious"; "a well-nigh effortless portrait of alienation and sublimated affection" (The Daily Telegraph).
He recently wrote the introduction for the The Modern Library edition of Charles Dickens' The Haunted House, and published an essay called Listerine: The Life And Opinions Of Laurence Sterne, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, in Post Road 5. He has also written three chapbooks of lyrics and notes: Collected Stories (1991), John Wesley Harding's New Deal (1995) and Notes Towards A Clarification of The Confessions of St.Ace (2000). He has published articles on various subjects in Raygun, Creem, Beach Culture, Washington Law and No Depression.
He has lived in America since 1991, and resides in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with his wife Abbey, and their daughter Tilda (born 25th April 2006). He is currently at work on his third novel.
William Morris (Jennifer Rudolph Walsh)
Little, Brown (USA) and Jonathan Cape (UK)
Flammarion (France), Mondadori (Italy), RBA Libros (Spain) etc
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