Davis, Will 1980-
Davis, Will 1980-
Born 1980, in London, England.
Betty Trask Award for First Novel, 2007, for My Side of the Story.
My Side of the Story (novel), Bloomsbury (London, England), 2007.
In his first novel, My Side of the Story, London-born Will Davis tells the coming-of-age story of the narcissistic and self-obsessed sixteen-year-old Jarold, who quickly tells readers in his colloquial narration that his nickname is "Jaz" and that he has "remarkably undivorced parents." The story revolves around the fact that Jaz is gay and that his parents have just been informed of his sexual orientation by Jaz's self-righteous sister, whom he calls "The Nun." Sent off to see a psychiatrist, Jaz must not only face his parents' refusal to accept his homosexuality, but also the scorn and harassment of his classmates. Eventually, Jaz runs off to Brighton and goes on a spree of drug-taking and sexual encounters. In the process, he keeps running into one of his schoolteachers, the aging Mr. Fellows, in a local gay bar. Finding that Fellows just won't leave them alone, Jaz and his friend Al, which is short for Alice, decide to find Fellows a mate. In the meantime, his parents' marriage begins falling apart. At the same time, Jaz is falling for an older man, though the man will not consort with a teenager.
"My Side of the Story has some of the funniest writing I've read in a long, long time," wrote Jill Murphy on the Bookbag Web site. Murphy went on to call the novel "witty, contemporary, honest and, at times, quite heartbreaking." Despite the comic aspects of the novel, things begin to turn seriously bad for Jaz as he becomes spaced out on ecstasy and finds that his first sexual encounter is far from what he had dreamed about. In the end, Jaz must reconcile with the realities of life as a gay boy approaching manhood. Michael Cart, writing in Booklist, praised the narrative voice of Jaz, noting, "The best thing about … [this] first novel is the chatty, self-deprecating, ultraironic voice" of Jaz. Murphy wrote: "Jaz sounds like a teenager, not like an adult pretending to be one." My Side of the Story won the 2007 Betty Trask Award for First Novel and high praise from other reviewers. "Unexpectedly hilarious and harrowing by turns, and nonetheless poignant for being sometimes predictable, My Side of the Story is quite an accomplishment for one not long past his teenage years himself," wrote Jane Bradley on the Bookmunch Web site. Bradley went on to note: "All said and done, Davis is a skilled storyteller … [who] has successfully mastered a voice and genre."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Davis, Will, My Side of the Story (novel), Bloomsbury (London, England), 2007.
Booklist, February 1, 2007, Michael Cart, review of My Side of the Story, p. 29.
Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 2007, Cynthia Winfield, review of My Side of the Story, p. 238.
Allen Unwin,http://www.allen-unwin.com/ (November 27, 2007), "About the Author," brief profile of author.
Bookbag,http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/ (November 27, 2007), Jill Murphy, review of My Side of the Story.
Bookmunch,http://www.bookmunch.co.uk/ (November 27, 2007) Jane Bradley, review of My Side of the Story.