In 1999, author and journalist Jamie James left his post as a staff critic for The New Yorker and moved to Bali, Indonesia, to concentrate on writing about Asia. In 2002 he published his first novel, Andrew & Joey: A Tale of Bali. In 2004 he began his research for The Snake Charmer with a trek into mountainous northern Burma, to the remote village of Rat Baw, where Joe Slowinski died. Since moving to Indonesia, James has written about travel and culture for many top American magazines, including The New Yorker, Men's Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, and major newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times.
The Snake Charmer is James’s seventh book. His previous nonfiction books include The Music of the Spheres: Music, Science, and the Natural Order of the Universe; Other Origins: The Search for the Giant Ape in Human Prehistory; and Eccentrics: A Study in Sanity and Strangeness.
James and his partner own and manage two restaurants in the resort village of Seminyak, Bali.