Deborah Kay Davies was born in Pontypool in South Wales. Her first collection of poetry, Things You Think I Don't Know, was published by Parthian in 2006. Her stories have been published in various anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from Cardiff University, where she now teaches creative writing.

Short Story Collections

Grace, Tamar and
Laszlo the Beautiful

(Parthian, 2008)

Winner, Wales Book of
the Year 2009

reviewed by Brian George

Interview with Deborah Kay Davies

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Deborah Kay Davies: It took about 10 years altogether. I was doing other things along the way.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

DKD: No, I was working on an MA and PhD, and the stories were part of that.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

DKD: I weeded a lot of stories out of my PhD dissertation and used the ones that hung together - they seemed to be about two people, who I finally made into the sisters Grace and Tamar. Then I wrote some new narratives, to fill in the gaps.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

DKD: Ouch, difficult question. Something you fall into and claw your way up from? Something you dive into and swim about in? Something you walk through and stumble out of? I don't have a definitive answer. Something that speaks to you, that you care about, that stays with you. Or not ...

TSR: Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?

DKD:  Firstly, myself. If I'm interested, that's all I can worry about.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?

DKD: Did you enjoy reading it? Did it grip you?

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

DKD It feels fantastic. Such a wonderful bonus!

TSR: What are you working on now?

DKD: A novel called True Things About Me. Canongate are publishing it in July 2010.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

DKD: Clare Wigfall's new collection, which I enjoyed. Norman Schwenk's My Dog Can Talk: quietly wonderful. And Alice Munro.
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