Jonathan Buckley was born in Birmingham, grew up in Dudley, and studied English Literature at Sussex University, where he stayed on to take an MA. From there he moved to King’s College, London, where he researched the work of the Scottish poet/artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. After working as a university tutor, stage hand, maker of theatrical sets and props, bookshop manager, decorator and builder, he was commissioned in 1987 to write the Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto.
He went on to become an editorial director at Rough Guides, and to write further guidebooks on Tuscany & Umbria and Florence, as well as contributing to the Rough Guide to Classical Music and Rough Guide to Opera.
His first novel, The Biography of Thomas Lang, was published by Fourth Estate in 1997. It was followed by Xerxes (1999), Ghost MacIndoe (2001), Invisible (2004), So He Takes The Dog (2006), Contact (2010) and Telescope (2011), Nostalgia (2013) and The River is the River (2015).
From 2003 to 2005 he held a Royal Literary Fund fellowship at the University of Sussex, and from 2007 to 2011 was an Advisory Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund.