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At Johns Hopkins, James Frankie Thomas is a lecturer for the MA in Writing program.

Thomas is a writer based in New York City. His first novel, Idlewild, was published in 2023. The story of an intense queer friendship at a private Quaker high school in Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11, Idlewild was selected as one of the best books of the year by NPR, Vanity Fair, Vox, and The Paris Review.

As a critic and essayist, Thomas has written frequently for The Paris Review; his essays have also appeared in Vulture, Astra, LitHub, and the 2021 anthology We Are the Baby-Sitters Club. His short story “The Showrunner,” published in At Length, received special mention in the 2013 Pushcart Prize Anthology, along with the Best of the Net Award.

In 2018, Thomas appeared on PBS NewsHour in a segment called “Why Learning Latin Stays With You Forever,” an adaptation of one of his Paris Review essays. He also appeared in “Bloomsday 2020: A New Day Will Be,” a YouTube tribute to James Joyce produced by the Irish Foreign Ministry. He has published one academic paper: “Unspeakable ‘Circe’: Sexual Perversion and the Lacanian Detour in Ulysses,” published in James Joyce Quarterly in 2017.

Thomas holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the City College of New York an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Featured Works

  • Idlewild, James Thomas, Abrams Books, 2023
  • “Unspeakable ‘Circe’: Sexual Perversion and the Lacanian Detour in Ulysses,” James Thomas, James Joyce Quarterly, 2017
  • “The Showrunner,” James Thomas, At Length, 2013

Media Mentions

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