James Russell

Born in 1948, James Russell has spent all of his professional life as an academic psychologist. He retired from Cambridge as Professor of Cognitive Development in 2015. Apart from a novella, Craigie’s Clevedon Poems (Knives, Forks, & Spoons, 2013), all his previous nonacademic publishing has been of poetry. Greater London is his debut novel.

Including p&p

James Russell

This tells the life-story (in flashback after his death) of Leo Barber, a celebrity across several domains. He first finds fame during the 1975 referendum on the UK’s membership of the Common Market (as it was then), by inventing a character called Jimmy Paxton, a faux-innocent, rabble-rousing xenophobe. Later in life he passes himself off as a poet, whose poems were in fact generated by computer in his brother’s laboratory. Later still he “authors” a book on the neuroscience of the creative mind, about which he knows nothing (though luckily his clever, put-upon brother does). But, despicable though he is, who would have thought he’d stoop to murder? We hear about all this in Leo’s own voice – discursive, opinionated, vulnerable, comic, often sympathetic. Not the voice or mind of a natural villain.

978-1-874400-82-0  276pp   2021