David Anthony Durham (born 1969) is an American novelist, author of historical fiction and fantasy. The child of parents of Caribbean ancestry, he grew up in Maryland. He has also lived in the United Kingdom and France, where he wrote his first novel.
Durham's first novel, Gabriel's Story, centered on African American settlers in the American West. Walk Through Darkness followed a runaway slave during the tense times leading up to the American Civil War. Pride of Carthage focused on Hannibal Barca of Ancient Carthage and his war with the Roman Republic.
He has won two awards from the American Library Association, and his novels have been translated into eight foreign languages. Gabriel's Story, Walk Through Darkness and Acacia: The War with the Mein are all in development as feature films. Durham's most recently released book, Acacia: The Sacred Band, concludes his epic fantasy Acacia Trilogy.
He was the MacLean Distinguished Visiting Writer at The Colorado College and was an Associate Professor at Cal State University, Fresno and an adjunct professor at Hampshire College. He won the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Fiction Award in 1992, the 2002 Legacy Award for Debut Fiction and was a Finalist for the 2006 Legacy Award for Fiction. In 2009, he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
He currently teaches for the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing.
This biography was last updated on 01/01/2015.
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David Durham explains his interest in Hannibal and refutes the historical concept of him as a brutish barbarian.
I met the protagonist of Pride of Carthage while I was still a boy in elementary school. I'm not sure just who it was that brought tales of Hannibal Barca into my house, but whoever that forgotten relative or family friend was I owe them thanks. He or she filled my head with images of armies riding elephants over snow covered mountains, of great battles and triumphant heroes. I was fascinated by the exoticness of Hannibal's war, by the bravery and barbarity of ancient battle, by the notion of such a titanic clash of African and European powers. It's the first instance I can remember of being enthralled by a distant historical event and by the persons who featured prominently in it. I never forgot this initial enthusiasm.
It was with considerable excitement, then, that I began to write the story of the Second Punic War several years ago. Beginning the novel I was aware that the same things that attracted me to it where the things that might do me in. How would I capture the polyglot diversity of Carthage's army? How would I write of an event like at Cannae, when seventy thousand Romans were...
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