Francis, David 1957–
Francis, David 1957–
PERSONAL: Born 1957, in Victoria, Australia. Education: Attended Monash University. Hobbies and other interests: Horseback riding.
CAREER: Lawyer and novelist. Affiliated with law firms, including Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and Fulbright & Jaworski, Los Angeles, CA.
AWARDS, HONORS: Australia Literature Fund fellowship, 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Novelist David Francis is a lawyer by trade, having worked for firms in both his native Australia and the United States. He also has been a successful rider in the international equestrian show-jumping circuit; he left Australia after college to compete in Europe and the United States. Francis was the 2002 recipient of the Australia Literature Fund fellowship, which allowed him to spend time writing at the Cité International des Arts in Paris, France.
In 2001, Francis published his first novel, Agapanthus Tango, which was released in the United States under the title of The Great Inland Sea. The book follows the story of Day, a young Australian who flees his country after witnessing his mother's death at the hands of his father. Day starts working on a race-horse farm in Maryland and befriends Callie, a young Australian with a troubled past who dreams of becoming America's first professional female jockey. Day's affection for Callie grows, but their relationship is turbulent. When Day's father suffers a stroke, Day returns to Australia to deal with the family issues he ran away from.
The Great Inland Sea received positive reviews following its release, as critics lauded Francis's dramatic and raw writing style. "He effectively uses macabre imagery to capture the essence of the flawed, ambiguous relationship" between his protagonists, wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor. Other readers appreci-ated Francis's fresh take on a common genre. "His spare, elegiac style set this novel apart from most coming-of-age stories," observed Jennifer Baker in a review for Booklist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Believer, June-July, 2005, Morgan Meis, review of The Great Inland Sea.
Booklist, March 15, 2005, Jennifer Baker, review of The Great Inland Sea, p. 1263.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2005, review of The Great Inland Sea, p. 304.
Law Society Journal, July, 2001, Keren Lavelle, "Lawyer Swaps Horses for Novels," p. 17.
Library Journal, March 15, 2005, Lawrence Rungmen, review of The Great Inland Sea, p. 70.
Publishers Weekly, April 25, 2005, review of The Great Inland Sea, p. 38.
Washington Post Book World, May 22, 2005, Jeff Turrentine, review of The Great Inland Sea, p. 7.
Curled up with a Good Book, http://www.curledup.com/ (September 18, 2005), review of The Great Inland Sea.
Elegant Variation Web log, http://marksarvas.blogs.com/elegvar/ (September 18, 2005), interview with Francis.