Profile: Cliff James

About This Author

Cliff James was born in 1972 in Kent and spent his later childhood in Battle, East Sussex. On dropping out of college at 17, he attended a monastic scheme for young men run by the Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball, with whom he lived and studied theology for a year. After leaving the Bishop’s house, he attended the University of Sunderland where he earned a First-Class degree in English Literature with Gender Studies, and was awarded the Raman Selden Memorial Prize for English Literature. He moved to Cambridge in 1997 and gained a Post-Graduate Diploma in English Literature at Anglia Polytechnic University. In 2000, he qualified as a Legal Representative with the Refugee Legal Centre, representing asylum seekers at Oakington Detention Centre for six years. In response to the UK Home Office’s hostile policy towards refugees, he entered journalism to raise awareness of the plight of asylum seekers, human rights and environmental issues. He became News Editor of the gay lifestyle magazine 3SIXTY, Editor of the LGBT newspaper one80news in Brighton, and Secretary of the Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association. His first published short story, The Violence Of The Gardener, appeared in A Casualty Of War: The Arcadia Book Of Gay Short Stories, edited by Peter Burton, in 2008. That same year, he began working as a welfare caseworker for destitute asylum seekers with Refugee Action in Liverpool, and was later sent to Sierra Leone to report on the living conditions of those who had been refused asylum by the UK. After moving to Yorkshire, his first novel Of Bodies Changed was published in 2014. The following year, his short story, The Half-Way House, appeared in the anthology, Speak My Language, edited by Torsten Højer. He has published poetry with local arts organisations and in Ekklesia’s Letters To A Broken Church. In 2016, following the UK referendum on EU membership, he entered self-imposed exile and now lives in Spain. Life As A Kite, his first non-fiction book, is due out in December 2019. He currently lives and writes in southern Spain with his partner. You can find out more at

This Author's Books

The world feels increasingly volatile and polarised. Millions of people are displaced or alienated by abuses of power. Our lives are cluttered, stressful and unsatisfying. Our sense of who we are and where we belong is more fragile than ever. Following po....
ISBN: 9781839451430
Published: 23 December 2019
When Jackie travels to the South Downs in search of her childhood home, she uncovers a sinister secret lurking in the family closet. Her estranged brother, Chris, is her last remaining relative, but he has been transformed into something unrecognisable by....
ISBN: 9781784078164
Published: 23 June 2014