J. David Simons
|J. David Simons|
Jonathan David Simons|
27 August 1953
J. David Simons (born 27 August 1953) is a Scottish novelist and short story writer. He was educated at Hutchesons' Boys Grammar School and graduated with a law degree from Glasgow University in 1973. He worked as a lawyer in Edinburgh, a cotton farmer on Kibbutz Ashdot Ya'akov Ichud in Israel, a charity administrator for the Cyrenians in West London, a university lecturer at Keio University, Japan, and a journalist for multi-national publishing house Informa, before returning to his native Glasgow in 2006 to pursue his career as a writer.
Simons' first novel The Credit Draper was published by Two Ravens Press in May 2008 and was shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize in June 2009. This novel is set primarily within the Glasgow Jewish Community in the early part of the 20th century and represents the first part of his "Glasgow to Galilee" trilogy. Simons goes on to tackle issues of socialism, feminism and birth control in Glasgow during the 1920s in his second novel in this trilogy - The Liberation of Celia Kahn - which was published by Five Leaves Publications in February 2011 along with a re-print of The Credit Draper. His third novel An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful set in Japan was published by Saraband in March 2013 and examines the theme of denial, especially in regard to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. In The Land Agent, the third novel in the "Glasgow to Galilee" trilogy, published by Saraband in October 2014, Simons turns his attention to 1920s Palestine and the conflict over a strategic piece of land that doesn't exist on any map. Simons' fifth novel A Woman of Integrity was originally published in March 2017 by Freight before its rights were acquired by Saraband. The novel deals with the lives of two film actresses from different eras trying to carve out careers for themselves away from the shadows of men. Apart from his fiction writing, Simons is also a mentor for the Scottish Book Trust and an editor with the Blue Pencil Agency.
Awards and Grants
- Writer's Bursary - Scottish Arts Council, September 2009
- Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, June 2011.
- Grant from the Society of Authors Foundation, September 2012.
- Talent Development Award - Creative Scotland, March 2013
- Open Project Funding Award - Creative Scotland, July 2015
- The Credit Draper (Two Ravens Press 2008, re-printed Five Leaves 2011, re-printed Saraband 2014)
- The Liberation of Celia Kahn (Five Leaves 2011, reprinted Saraband 2014)
- An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful (Saraband 2013)
- The Land Agent (Saraband 2014)
- A Woman of Integrity (Freight 2017)
- The Lovebirds (Printed Matter 1993)
- Soundscapes (Printed Matter 1995)
- Maimonides (London Magazine 2000)
- The Custodian (Gutter Magazine 2011)
- Poland 1919 - Decisions, Decisions (Spilling Ink 2011)
- Poland 1919 - Palestine or America (Glasgow University Press 2012)
- The Coffee Kid (runner-up in the Poetic Republic Short Story Competition 2015)
- The Myth of Bert Slater (Nutmeg Magazine Issue, No 2, 2017)
- Remember From Where You Came (With Their Best Clothes On, New Writing Scotland 36, 2018)
- Kibbutz - The Golden Years (appearing in Utopia, Five Leaves 2012)
- Amanda McCall (2012-05-05). "There's no place like home for author J. David Simons | Glasgow & West". News. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
- "Prizes 2009 | Society of Authors - Protecting the rights and furthering the interests of authors". Society of Authors. 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
- "The Credit Draper" - An Interview with J. David Simons, The Herald Scotland, 31 May 2008.
- "An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
- A Special Request - a novel extract from The Land Agent, The Scotsman, 18 October 2014.
- "Scottish writers awarded coveted Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship | Scotland". News. 2011-04-22. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
- Author's website
- Publisher's website - Saraband
- Publisher's website - Five Leaves
- Review of The Credit Draper - The Jewish Chronicle
- Review of The Liberation of Celia Kahn - Historical Novel Society
- Review of An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful - Herald Scotland
- Review of The Land Agent - The Edinburgh Reporter
- Review of A Woman of Integrity - Herald Scotland