John Wesley Harding
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 pop 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 recently released 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 is to
be recorded later this year with The Minus Five.
Misfortune, under his real name Wesley Stace, was published to great acclaim in 2004 by Little, Brown (USA)
and Jonathan Cape (UK) - translations followed in Italy, France (where it has become a bestseller), Holland,
Taiwan, Japan, Israel etc. It 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 in August 2007; it was one of the New York Public Library's Books To Remember of 2007, and
Booklist Editor's Choice for books of the year.
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, their daughter
Tilda and son Wyn.