Martin Goodman has written eleven books, fiction and nonfiction. A theme common to much of his fiction is the exploration of war guilt: his first novel On Bended Knees (Macmillan), set in England and Berlin, examined how the effects of war are passed from one generation to the next, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread (now the Costa) First Novel Award. His latest novel J SS Bach picks up that thread and considers the themes of Music and the Holocaust.
Early nonfiction focused on pilgrimage, sacred place and shamanism, and included the biography of the Indian holywoman Mother Meera, and a quest to sacred mountains of the world. His biography of the scientist Dr J. S. Haldane, Suffer & Survive (Simon & Schuster), won First Prize, Basis of Medicine in the 2008 BMA Book Awards.
His ClientEarth, written with his husband James Thornton, won the Judges’ Choice, Business Book of the Year 2018. It tells of ecolawyers and their work to protect the environment. A BBC New Generation Thinker, programmes for BBC Radio 4 include a two-part series on iconic architecture of England, The New North (2013) and a documentary on the writer Alan Garner (2014). His short stories are published widely, and as with his literary criticism focus largely on gay themes; the criticism has focused on the works of Edmund Gosse, James Purdy and Walter Baxter. His play Feeding the Roses won an international Virtual Theatre Project award and was performed at Wake Forest University, USA.
With Sara Maitland, he wrote the handbook of creative writing mentoring The Write Guide (New Writing North, 2007, revised ebook edition 2015). He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hull, and Director of the Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing, which has brought the world’s finest writers to Hull to be in dialogue about their writing and to works to promote and develop the region’s own very strong writing heritage and strengths. He stays at the forefront of developments in the book industry through his role as founder and publisher of Barbican Press, with a catalogue of fine contemporary novels and nonfiction from the UK, USA and Czechoslovakia, including new translations.