Jason Goodwin

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Jason Goodwin
Jason Goodwin.jpeg
Born Jason Goodwin
Occupation writer, historian
Language English
Nationality British
Genre Thriller
Notable works The Janissary Tree
Spouse Kate Goodwin
Jason Goodwin in 2011. HeadRead festival in Tallinn.

Jason Goodwin (born 1964) is an English writer and historian.


He studied Byzantine history at Cambridge University. Following the success of The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time For Tea: Travels in China and India in Search of Tea, he walked from Poland to Istanbul, Turkey. His account of the journey, On Foot to the Golden Horn, won the John Llewellyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday Prize in 1993.

Subsequently he wrote Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, which was featured on the cover of The New York Times Book Review. Later, he became popular as the author of a series of historical mystery novels beginning with The Janissary Tree, which pivot on the Ottoman investigator Yashim, a eunuch living in Istanbul during the 1830s-1840s. The Janissary Tree won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2007 and novels in the series have been translated into over 40 languages.

The Snake Stone involves a French archaeologist and Byron's doctor. The Bellini Card takes the action to Venice, and involves Italian painter Gentile Bellini's portrait of Mahmud II. The fourth Yashim novel, An Evil Eye, centres on the Ottoman sultan's harem, and the final Istanbul adventure, The Baklava Club, involves Italian and Polish revolutionaries in Istanbul.

Goodwin is the son of writers Jocasta Innes and John Michell.[1] However, his parents separated before he was born. Goodwin did not meet his birth father until 1992, at the age of 28,[2] and was raised by his mother's first husband, the film producer Richard B. Goodwin.[3] His half-sister is the British TV producer and novelist Daisy Goodwin.[3] He is married and has four children.

Published works

  • A Time For Tea: Travels in China and India in Search of Tea
  • On Foot to the Golden Horn
  • Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire
  • Greenback: The Almighty Dollar and the Invention of America


  • 1987 Spectator/Sunday Telegraph Young Writer of the Year (UK)
  • 1991 Thomas Cook Travel Writing Award (UK) The Gunpowder Gardens shortlisted
  • 1993 John Llewllyn Rhys Prize (UK) On Foot to the Golden Horn: A Walk to Istanbul
  • 2007 Edgar Award for Best Novel (US) The Janissary Tree
  • 2007 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel (US) The Janissary Tree shortlisted
  • 2012 Library Dagger (UK) shortlist


External links