Denison's Beck Lecture Series Welcomes Peter Ho Davies
Posted: February 22, 2005
The Denison University Beck Lecture Series presents fiction writer Peter Ho Davies at 8 p.m. on Wednesday (March 2) for a reading in the Burton Morgan Lecture Hall and at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday (March 3) for a lecture in the Barney Davis Board Room (200 West Loop Road on the Denison campus). The reading and lecture are free and open to the public.
Davies is the author of two short story collections. "The Ugliest House in the World" won the John Llewellyn Rhys and the PEN/Macmillan Prizes in the United Kingdom. "Equal Love" was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Davies' work has appeared in a variety of magazines and his fiction is widely anthologized including selections for the O. Henry Awards in 1998 and Best American Short Stories in 1995, 1996 and 2001. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. In 2003 he was named as one of the 20 "Best Young British Novelists."
His first novel is set in Wales and Germany during World War II and touched on issues that have long consumed him, such as nationalism. While finishing his novel, Davies says that he watched "a lot of TV because TV offers great comfort; its stories are warm and touching, and they end well. I don't want my stories to end well. I get my fix of safety in fiction from TV -- it allows me to be a little less safe with my own stories."
Davies says he is as comfortable writing about 19th century Welsh miners and Patagonian immigrants as he is 20th-century British ex-pats, American drug addicts and a mixed-race American couple that encounter aliens. "I like to be the kind of writer who does different things from story to story," Davies says. "It's one of the pleasures of the form."
He was born in Coventry to a Welsh father and a Chinese mother (who was herself raised in Malaysia). Davies studied physics at Manchester United and English at Cambridge University and Boston University. He is married to a fellow writer, Lynne Raughley, and has been a resident of the United States for the past decade. Davies says he's flattered that critics occasionally tag him as an Asian-American writer; he notes that the label is inaccurate. "If anything," he jokes, "I'm Sino-Celtic."
Davies formerly taught at the University of Oregon. He currently directs the master of fine arts program in creative writing at the University of Michigan.
The Beck Lecture Series was endowed in memory of Harriet Ewens Beck to bring outstanding writers to the Denison campus. The series has hosted such writers as Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Tom Stoppard and W.S. Merwin. Under the sponsorship fund, each year 10 to 12 writers read from their works and participate in master classes.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Denison University Beck Lecture Series presents fiction writer Peter Ho Davies for a reading; 8 p.m., Wednesday (March 2), Burton Morgan Lecture Hall. Free and open to the public. Contact (740) 587-6207 to confirm information.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Denison University Beck Lecture Series presents fiction writer Peter Ho Davies for a lecture; 3:30 p.m., Thursday (March 3), Barney Davis Board Room. Free and open to the public. Contact (740) 587-6207 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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