Peter Ho Davies biography

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Peter Ho Davies
Photo: Bering Photography

Peter Ho Davies

Peter Ho Davies Biography

Peter Ho Davies was born in 1966 to Welsh and Chinese parents. He has degrees in Physics and English, and was awarded an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. He has worked in Malaysia, Singapore, and the USA, and was also, for a time, UK business manager for Varsity.

His work has appeared in a variety of magazines and newspapers, and his short fiction is widely anthologized, including selections for Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards 1998 and Best American Short Stories 1995, 1996 and 2001. His own first published collection of short stories was The Ugliest House in the World (1998), which contains tales set in Malaysia, South Africa and Patagonia. This collection won the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award and the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. His second collection, Equal Love, was published in 2000.

Peter Ho Davies lives in the United States and directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. He is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. In 2003, he was named by Granta magazine as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists'.

Davies is married and has one son.

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
The Fortunes jacket The Welsh Girl jacket
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Readalikes

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