David Francis (author)
November 12, 1958 |
Mornington, Victoria, Australia
David Francis (born November 12, 1958) is an Australian novelist, lawyer and academic.
David Francis was born in the Mornington Bush Nursing Hospital in Victoria, Australia on November 12, 1958. His mother, Judith Francis, was a prominent Australian horsewoman. Francis spent much of his early life between Mount Eliza, where he attended The Peninsula School, and his family farm, "Tooradin Estate".
Francis studied arts and law at Monash University in Melbourne where he received his BA and LLB. After graduating, Francis worked as a solicitor at Allens Arthur Robinson in Melbourne for two years. In 1985, Francis represented Australia in an equestrian team competing in Europe. He subsequently travelled to the US where he rode the US show-jumping circuit just outside New York.
Francis is currently based in Los Angeles where he works for the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski and is on the board of directors of PEN American Center. He has taught creative writing at Occidental College, University of California (Los Angeles campus) and for the Masters of Professional Writing program at University of Southern California. He spends part of each year in Australia and also at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
Novels and literary career
Francis started writing fiction in 1996. His first novel, Agapanthus Tango, tells the story of the travels of a 12-year-old boy, named Day, when he sets out on his horse after his mother dies. Agapanthus Tango was first published by Harper Collins/Fourth Estate in the United Kingdom and then by Harper Collins in Australia. Since then, it has been translated, and re-published, in Germany (2002), Italy (2002), Holland (2002) and France (2004). In 2005 it was published in the United States with the new title, The Great Inland Sea, by MacAdam/Cage. In 2006, the French company, Serena Films, purchased the film rights for the novel.
Writing for The Washington Post, Jeff Turrentine described The Great Inland Sea as "a bowl of ripe cherries: graceful and unaffected…we should be grateful for stories of this scale, crafted by writers of this skill". The San Francisco Chronicle featured The Great Inland Sea as an "Editor's recommendation", writing: "David Francis may not be a poet, but he sure writes like one. His prose is lean but dreamy, full of sensual detail [...] It's all done with skill and elegance."
In 2008, Francis's second novel, Stray Dog Winter was published Allen & Unwin in Australia, and by MacAdam/Cage in the US The novel centres on a love story that is set in 1980s Moscow. Booklist described Stray Dog Winter as "Vibrant with the discordant images of political repression and smoldering sexuality, Francis ethereally transports readers to a preternatural time where nothing and no one are what they seem". Los Angeles Magazine said "Francis's prose has the sparse elegance of a Xeriscape. Every detail holds water". The Australian Book Review called it "An impressive political thriller, beautifully crafted with a spectacular climax." Stray Dog Winter was named as a 2008 "Book of the Year" in The Advocate, "Australian Novel of the Year" in the Australian Literary Review (2008), and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in 2009.
Francis's work has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Elegant Variation, Wet Ink, The Advocate, the Southern California Review, Best Australian Short Stories (2010), Griffith Review, Meanjin and The Harvard Review.
Achievements and awards
- 2002. Awarded the Australian Literature Fund Fellowship to the Kessing Studio in Paris.
- 2010 Commendation of the Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Award.
- 2010 American Library Association, Barbara Gittings Literature Award.
List of works
- Agapanthus Tango – ISBN 1-84115-488-1
- Great Inland Sea – ISBN 1-59692-180-3
- Stray Dog Winter – ISBN 978-1-59692-315-7
Short Fiction (includes)
- "How's It Going Peter Pan?" (Southern California Review (1.2), 2008)
- "Daisy on the Bridge" (Wet Ink, 2008)
- "Once Removed" (Best Australian Stories of 2010, Black Inc, 2010)
- "Parts Unknown" – (Meanjin, 2012)
- "No Jesus Man" – Griffith Review, 2011
- David, Francis. "A Fulfilling Life in the Saddle – Judith Brailsford Francis, Equestrienne 28-3-1923 – 30-4-2008". theage.com.au. The Age. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Gruber, Fiona (6 September 2008). "The horse and his boy". The Age. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Sarvas, Marc (TEV) (12 May 2005). "The Return of the Three Minute Interview (3MI): David Francis". The Elegant Variation: A Literary Weblog. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Anon. "David Francis". Archive for the 2009 Melbourne Writers Festival. Melbourne Writers Festival. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Anon. "About the Author". Official Website for Stray Dog Winter. McAdam Cage. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "PEN Center USA Proposed 2012 Officers and Directors". Pen Center USA. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- O'Grady, Carrie (9 March 2002). "Do you wanna be in my gang?". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Turrentine, Jeff (22 May 2005). "Day's Long Journey into Night". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Anon (3 July 2005). "Our Editors Recommend". SFGate. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "About the Books". Stray Dog Winter – Official Website. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Gunn, Drewey Wayne. "'Stray Dog Winter' by David Francis". Lambda. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- Booklist (1 September 2008). "Stray Dog Winter – Booklist Review" (Restricted Access). Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Swartley, Ariel (October 2008). "The Stranger's Dilemma". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Habel, Chad (2009). "Stray Dog Winter" (Restricted Access). Australian Book Review. 309 (46). Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Stray Dog Winter". straydogwinter.com. MacAdam Cage. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Advocate.com Editors (3 December 2008). "The Top Five: The Best of Entertainment in 2008". The Advocate. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Towle, Andy (16 March 2009). "21st Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced". Towleroad. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "21st Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists". Aids Committee of Guelph (ACG). Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Francis, David. "Index Listing for "Daisy on the Bridge"" (Restricted Access). Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Francis, David. "Index Listing for "How's It Going, Peter Pan?"" (Restricted Access). Southern California Review. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Kennedy, Cate. "Once Removed". Black Inc Books. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Francis, David. "No Jesus Man". Griffith Review. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Contributors". The Harvard Review. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "David Francis". Markson Thoma Literary Agency. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
- "Stonewall Book Awards for 2010 announced". American Library Association. Retrieved 4 July 2012.