j a m e s g a v i n

a u t h o r / j o u r n a l i s t

James Gavin (photographer-Bobby Miller) HI-RES
photo by bobby miller

"Please, please NEVER tell my life story. Your eyes are too keen."
Richard Rodriguez, author and cultural critic

A killer biographer"
Tim Appelo, Hollywood Reporter

GEORGE MICHAEL: A LIFE was published by Abrams on June 28, 2022.
Audio Book (read by Paul Bellantoni)
now available from Tantor

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CHOSEN BY PEOPLE AS ONE OF ITS BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER 2022: "A fascinating, heartbreaking bio."


KIRKUS REVIEWS: “A comprehensive... detailed, evenhanded biography...of the massively popular singer and songwriter... Gavin handles Michael’s problematic years as equitably as the storybook ones...his first-rate reporting makes this biography sing. Gavin’s real stories of triumphs and tragedies poignantly explain one of pop’s most enigmatic stars.”

CNN.COM (Brandon Tensley)

SPIN (Michael Klein): "Stunning, meticulously researched"

LOS ANGELES TIMES (feature by Mikael Wood): "Exhaustive and empathetic"

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (Alan Light): "Engrossing … a thorough and well-rounded view of Michael's artistry and personal chaos"

NEW YORK TIMES: "Ten New Books We Recommend This Week"

PEOPLE.COM (excerpt)

TODAY.COM (Francesca Gariano)

INTERVIEW (feature by Jamie Brickhouse): "Scintillating … eloquent and meticulous"

USA TODAY: "A probing, definitive portrait."

FOXNEWS.COM (Stephanie Nolasco)

EXTRATV.COM: "Detailed, meticulously researched, definitive"

SKY NEWS (Gemma Peplow)

DAILY EXPRESS (Richard Barber)

THE SUN (Michael Hamilton)

EVENING STANDARD (London) (Joe Bromley)

NEW YORK POST (Stephanie Nolasco)

TIDAL (John Murph) "Definitive … poignant"

CLASSIC POP (U.K.) 4-star review: "There has been no shortage of revisionism and analysis of George since, but GEORGE MICHAEL: A LIFE is by far the most authoritative to date. A must-read for GM fans."

RETRO POP (U.K.) "Epic."


MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE (Jon Bream): "This is one of my favorite biographies ever."

WASHINGTON TIMES (feature by Christian Josi) "George Michael: A Life enlightens and answers. And with it, James Gavin has done the legacy of George Michael and in fact the business of proper biographical writing an immeasurable service."

LIBRARY JOURNAL: "Gavin's fluent, gripping account of Michael's roller-coaster music career will draw readers in. An emotionally fulfilling read."

BAY AREA REPORTER (Jim Piechota): "This biography is moving, eye-opening, and essential, even for readers with just a casual interest in pop culture."

SHELF AWARENESS (Kevin Howell) "Truly definitive … emotionally satisfying and meticulous"

DIGITAL TRENDS.COM (Jason Struss) "Superb … successfully makes the case for George Michael the musician … but also George Michael the man."





DAILY CALLER (Leena Nasir)

MEAWW.COM (Ashish Singh)

REPORT DOOR (Gary James)


YAHOO LIFE (Delilah Gray)

SHE KNOWS (Delilah Gray)

RADARONLINE.COM (Samantha Benitz) "A gripping new biography."

PINK NEWS (U.K.) (Patrick Kelleher) "A meticulously researched, fascinating deep-dive into a man whose music shattered hearts."

IRISH MIRROR (Joel Leaver)

RUETIR (Netherlands) "This biography doesn't dwell on the juicy stories…. Gavin sees [Michael] above all as an extraordinary soul singer, not only technically gifted, but also able to express deep pain, touching directly the heart of the listener."


EL PAÍS (Spain) (Enrique Alpañés)

MARCA (Spain)


ALL ABOUT JAZZ (review by C. Michael Bailey) "Gavin's success can be measured in the number of people who queue up George Michael on their provider of choice and listen."

HAM & HIGH (Hampstead & Highgate Express) (U.K.) (feature by Bridget Galton)


Available from Atria Books (Simon & Schuster): Is That All There Is?: The Strange Life of Peggy Lee

"James Gavin has captured the essence of the rich musical era that people like my dad, Nat King Cole, and Peggy defined. In his keenly observed, scrupulously researched biography he has also illuminated something very true and touching about the woman behind the glamour. I highly recommend this book."
-Natalie Cole

“Eminently readable ... fascinating, suspenseful, musically detailed and insightful.”
-Anita Gates, New York Times Book Review

Also from Atria: Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne

"I wish I could do justice to this book. I cannot. It is impossible to convey its power ... Magnificent, gripping, marvelously written."
-Liz Smith

See also: New York Times Book Review (John Simon), Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, New Yorker, Huffington Post, USA Today, New York Newsday, JazzTimes (Christopher Loudon), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Boston Globe, Bay Area Reporter, Edge, All About Jazz, and Jerry Jazz Musician.


From Knopf/Chicago Review Press: Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker

"A landmark in entertainment biography" (Tony Gieske, Hollywood Reporter)

Read Greil Marcus's review


From Back Stage Books: Intimate Nights: The Golden Age of New York Cabaret

"Vividly reported … etched in acid" (John S. Wilson, New York Times)


See James Gavin on PBS NewsHour

JazzTimes interview with Jeff Tamarkin

Lambda Literary interview with Jamie Brickhouse

Fairmont Magazine interview and photo shoot at Plaza Hotel, NYC

JazzTimes interview with editor Lee Mergner

Tampa Bay Times
: "What's James Gavin Reading?"

Talk About Las Vegas with Ira: recorded interview