Davies, Adam 1972(?)-
Davies, Adam 1972(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1972. Education: Attended Kenyon College; Syracuse University, M.F.A.
ADDRESSES: Home— New York, NY.
CAREER: Writer and educator. Previously worked as an editorial assistant at Random House, New York, NY, and as an instructor of English literature and creative writing at the University of Georgia, Athens.
The Frog King: A Love Story (novel), Riverhead Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Goodbye Lemon (novel), Riverhead Books (New York, NY), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: In his first novel, The Frog King: A Love Story, Adam Davies features Harry Driscoll, an editor at a publishing firm in New York City (a job that Davies once held himself). Stuck at the lower end of the company ladder and emotionally stunted, Harry not only cannot tell his coworker and girlfriend Evie that he loves her, but he is also unfaithful, pursuing an affair with a powerful editor at another publishing house. Evie tries to make the relationship work even though she is well aware of Harry’s failings. Harry dreams of becoming a famous writer one day, and eventually forms an attachment to a young homeless girl, Birdie, whom he saved from a life on the streets. After Evie has had enough and leaves Harry, he comes to realize that she is really the most important thing in his life.
In a review of The Frog King on the Bookreporter.com Web site, Sarah Rachel Egelman wrote: “Davies’s prose is fast paced and clever, and his dialogue is inventive.” Egelman also called the novel “an original and promising debut.” Gavin Quinn, writing in Booklist, commented that the author’s “subtle observations about life. . . make for an impressive and thought-provoking work.” A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to The Frog King as “intelligent and amusing.”
The author’s second novel, Goodbye Lemon, focuses on a disaffected English professor named Jack Tennant, who once dreamed of becoming a classical pianist but who, because of a family tragedy, can only review classical concerts for a paper in Atlanta. When his father suffers a stroke, Jack is convinced by his girlfriend, Hahva, to go visit his father up north and try to mend their broken relationship. Once there, Hahva finds out the depth of the family breach, which stems from the death of Jack’s brother, Dex, at the age of six, and Jack’s father breaking Jack’s finger, thus ending his dream of attending the prestigious Juilliard School.
“Davies deftly handles a large cast of characters, but his real accomplishment is retaining our sympathy for Jack as he self-destructs,” wrote David Daley of Goodbye Lemon on the USA Today Web site. Daley added that the novel “is mostly funny, evocative and emotionally true.” Although a Publishers Weekly contributor noted that familiar scenario and plot devices of the novel, the reviewer added that the author “makes it all happen in such a fresh, smart way the conventions of this conceit are almost forgotten.” The reviewer also wrote that the novel is “bitter, smart and soaked in dark humor.” Jan Blodgett, writing in the Library Journal, commented that Goodbye Lemon“tenderly captures Jack’s reshaping of his legacy and relationships,” adding that it “is filled with compassion and humor.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, August, 2002, Gavin Quinn, review of The Frog King: A Love Story, p. 1917.
Entertainment Weekly, August 23, 2002, Troy Patterson, “Croak Monsieur: Adam Davies’ Debut Novel, The Frog King, Offers a Precocious Peek at the Book World,” p. 138.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2002, review of The Frog King, p. 823; June 1, 2006, review of Goodbye Lemon, p. 534.
Library Journal, August 1, 2006, Jan Blodgett, review of Goodbye Lemon, p. 67.
Publishers Weekly, June 17, 2002, review of The Frog King, p. 39; May 8, 2006, review of Goodbye Lemon, p. 45; May 29, 2006, Marc Schultz, “Looking and Spilling: PW Talks with Adam Davies,” p. 34.
USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/ (August 7, 2006), David Daley, review of Goodbye Lemon.*