Davey, Janet 1953-
Davey, Janet 1953-
PERSONAL: Born 1953; children: two.
ADDRESSES: Home— London, England.
CAREER: Novelist. Former teacher.
English Correspondence (novel), Chatto & Windus (London, England), 2003.
First Aid (novel), Back Bay Books (New York, NY), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: London-based writer Janet Davey is a former teacher turned novelist. Her first novel, 2003’s English Correspondence, tells the story of a woman stuck in a failing marriage who is forced after her father’s sudden death to face the path her life has taken. The book was selected to the 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction long list. First Aid, Davey’s first novel to be released in the United States, is also a story of family dysfunction and complex interactions. The central characters include a divorcée who is wounded physically and mentally by her boyfriend’s abrupt departure and subsequently decides to move with her children to her childhood home, and her oldest child who rebels against the relocation by running away. In an article for the New York Times Online, Jennifer Egan described First Aid as a “a sharp, unsettling book that invokes a number of rich tales without exploring them directly. It has a curious power, like watching a play from a very hard chair and finding yourself in a heightened state of observation and attention.”Booklist reviewer Emily Melton called the book an “affecting mix of thriller and literary fiction with skillfully drawn characters and expressive writing.” Caroline M. Hallsworth remarked in a Library Journal review that Davey “peels away the layers of each character with exactitude” and has “a keen eye for the minutia of ordinary life.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, May 1, 2006, Emily Melton, review of First Aid, p. 24.
Library Journal, July 1, 2006, Caroline M. Halls-worth, review of First Aid, p. 64.
New York Times Online, http://www.nytimes.com/ (September 3, 2006), Jennifer Egan, “Dangerous Bliss,” review of First Aid.