Peter Ho Davies biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Peter Ho Davies
Photo: Bering Photography

Peter Ho Davies

Peter Ho Davies Biography

Peter Ho Davie's latest book is A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. His previous novel, The Fortunes, a New York Times Notable Book, won the Anisfield-Wolf Award and the Chautauqua Prize, and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His first novel, The Welsh Girl, a London Times Best Seller, was long-listed for the Booker Prize. He has also published two short story collections, The Ugliest House in the World (winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize, and the Oregon Book Award) and Equal Love (finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a New York Times Notable Book).

Davies' work has appeared in Harper's, the Atlantic, the Paris Review, the Guardian, the Washington Post and TLS among others, and been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. In 2003 Granta magazine named him among its "Best of Young British Novelists."

Davies is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts and a winner of the PEN/Malamud and PEN/Macmillan Awards.

Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, he now makes his home in the US. He has taught at the University of Oregon, Northwestern and Emory University, and is currently on faculty at the University of Michigan.

Peter Ho Davies's website

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Interview

Peter Ho Davies, author of many award-winning short stories, discusses his first novel, The Welsh Girl, which is set in Wales during World War II.

Q: What inspired you to write The Welsh Girl?

A: One of my earliest memories of my grandmother’s house in North Wales is playing with the small brass trinkets – a letter opener in the shape of a sword, a tobacco tin I took for a treasure chest – shining on her mantelpiece. She told me they were made from old shell casings by German prisoners of war held in camps in Snowdonia. I was fascinated by how these objects had passed from their hands to my grandmother’s and then to mine. It might have been the first time I felt history brush up against my own young life.


Q: Your father is Welsh, but your mother is Chinese, and you grew up in England and now live in the United States. How Welsh do you feel?

A: I wasn’t sure at the outset that I was Welsh enough – whatever that means – to write the book (I’ve had the same anxiety when writing about Chinese subjects, too, so it’s a double bind). In the end, though, I think I wrote it not despite that doubt, but because of it. The writing of the book is an effort to answer the question, How Welsh am I? Or actually to enlarge that question a little, to understand what it means to be Welsh.


Q: And what does ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Peter Ho Davies at BookBrowse
A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself jacket The Fortunes jacket The Welsh Girl jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Peter Ho Davies but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Xhenet Aliu

    Xhenet Aliu

    Xhenet Aliu's debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, and Other Stories, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in Glimmer Train, The Barcelona Review, American Short ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Fortunes

    Try:
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu

  • Annie Barrows

    Annie Barrows

    In addition to co-authoring The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society with her aunt Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows is the author of the children's series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half.

    Annie lives in ... (more)

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