Jonathan Raban

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Jonathan Raban
Jonathan Raban 07.jpg
Jonathan Raban, 2013
Born (1942-06-14) 14 June 1942 (age 76)
Hempton, Norfolk, England
Nationality British
Occupation Writer
A 2006 exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery honoring the Stranger Genius Award winners pays tribute to Raban.

Jonathan Raban (born 14 June 1942, Hempton, Norfolk, England) is a British travel writer, critic, and novelist. He has received several awards, such as the National Book Critics Circle Award,[1] The Royal Society of Literature's Heinemann Award,[2] the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award,[3] the PEN West Creative Nonfiction Award,[4] the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award,[5] and a 1997 Washington State Governor's Writer's Award.[6] Since 1990 he has lived with his daughter in Seattle.[7] In 2003, his novel Waxwings was long listed for the Man Booker Prize.

Though he is primarily regarded as a travel writer, Raban’s accounts often blend the story of a journey with rich discussion of the history of the water through which he travels and the land around it. Even as he maintains a dispassionate and often unforgiving stance towards the people he meets on his travels, he does not shirk from sharing his own perceived foibles and failings with the reader. Frequently, Raban’s autobiographical accounts of journeys taken mirror transformations in his own life or the world at large: Old Glory takes place during the buildup to Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 presidential election, Coasting as the Falklands War begins, and Passage to Juneau as the failure of the author’s marriage becomes apparent. Similarly melancholic and personal themes of turmoil and loss can be detected in his novels.


Book reviews


Inspiration and writing style

Mr. Raban's ... style ... can be described as a sort of English Capote: vivid, funny, accurate, full of hyperbolic wit and outrageous metaphor; no reticence at all. But at least as important is the author's ability to make an instant connection with virtually any human being whomsoever. Noel Perrin, The New York Times


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-20.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 August 2005. Retrieved 2015-01-04.
  4. ^[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Publishers website". Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2010.

External links

  • "Jonathan Raban fan website".
  • Campbell, James (2003-09-20). "Northern Exposure". London: The Guardian.
  • "Meet the Writers". Barnes & Noble. Archived from the original on 12 May 2007.
  • "Jonathan Raban at London Review bookshop". 2003-08-28.
  • Owen Wozniak (2006). "Jonathan Raban: Home and Away". Loggernaut.
  • "Review of Passage to Juneau (en Español)".
  • "Review of "Driving Home"". "The Daily".
  • Internet Movie Database, IMDb, Raban as a newsreader, [1]
  • Raban author page and archive from The New York Review of Books


  • “In the wild West the improbable is always possible” Pacific North West 26 September, 2004
  • 'Battleground of the Eye' Atlantic Monthly 1 Mar 2001 pp 40–52
  • 'Granny in the Doorway', London Review of Books 17 Aug 2017 pp 41–43
  • ‘I felt pretty happy that I was still alive’, The Guardian 30 Dec 2016 [1]


  • The Arts Fuse (6 Mar 2007) - Interview with Jonathan Raban about the Critical Condition and his novel, Surveillance
  • University of Washington, Upon Reflection - Video interview with Jonathan Raban about his book on immigrants in Montana, Badlands
  • Hitler's Coming; Time for Cocktails and Gossip interview with Jonathan Raban on National Public Radio series 'You must read this' re Evelyn Waugh’s Put Out More Flags. 1 July 2008

  1. ^ Dickson, Andrew (2016-12-30). "Jonathan Raban: 'I felt pretty happy that I was still alive'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
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