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Elspeth Davie - Novelist

She was born in Ayrshire and spent her earlv years in England. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh she attended Edinburgh College of Art and taught for a time in Ireland. Edinburgh has been her home for several years and she married the philosopher George Elder Davie. Her work has received several literary prizes and she was the recipient of the Katherine Mansfield Award for Short Stories in 1978. An Edinburgh background is rarely far away in Elspeth Davie's fiction, whether it be the grandeur of the historical city or the bleak outposts of its suburbs and modern housing estates. But it is not her chief aim to paint a persuasive portrait of the city: rather it is her characters who fascinate, whether it be Foley the failed art teacher of Creating a Scene or the melange of suburban ladies in Climbers on a Stair (1978). Underpinning all her characters is 'human vulnerability, and her short stories are solemn vignettes of day to day experience as she explores life's complexities and their effects on ordinary people The expressive simplicity of her dialogue and the personal nature of her vision, which allows her to develop her characters fully, make Elspeth Davie one of Scotland's finest post-war writers of fiction. Her short stories, which have appeared in several literary magazines, have been published in The Spark (1968), The High Tide Talker (1976) and The Night of the Funny Hats (1980).

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