Lauren B. Davis

Lauren B. Davis
Princeton, New Jersey, United States
September 05
Lauren B. Davis's new novel, OUR DAILY BREAD (HarperCollins Canada, 2012; and Wordcraft of Oregon, 2011), was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and chosen as one of the "Very Best Books of 2011" by The Boston Globe and The Globe & Mail. Her next book, THE EMPTY ROOM, will be published in Canada by HarperCollins Canada in May, 2013. She is also the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed novels, THE RADIANT CITY, (HarperCollins Canada 2005) a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize; and THE STUBBORN SEASON (Harper Collins Canada, 2002), chosen for the Robert Adams Lecture Series; as well as two collections short stories, AN UNREHEARSED DESIRE (Exile Editions, 2008) and RAT MEDICINE & OTHER UNLIKELY CURATIVES (Mosaic Press, 2000). Her short fiction has also been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and she is the recipient of two Mid-Career Writer Sustaining grants from the Canadian Council for the Arts - 2000 and 2006. Lauren leads a monthly writing workshop in Princeton, New Jersey, teaches creative writing at the A.C. Wagner Correctional Facility, and is a past mentor with the Humber College School for Writers, Toronto, and past Writer-in-Residence at Trinity Church, Princeton. For more information, please visit her website at:


Lauren B. Davis's Links

MAY 8, 2013 5:59PM

A Great Day At The Prison

Some days are just wonderful.  It's My Best Beloved's birthday, and it's Bailey's birthday (our dog, known asThe Rescuepoo), and the hot-off-the-presses copy of my new novel arrived in the mail, which just makes me giddy with grinning . . . . but. . . the most wonderful… Read full post »

APRIL 8, 2013 12:04PM

If You Value Literature . . .

If you value books and the people who write them, I beg you to read this article from the NYTimes and then to alter your buying habits accordingly.

Sadly, we writers fear that if consumers don't start a grassroots movement to support us, in another few years there may… Read full post »

If you're a writer or someone who loves literature, you probably read the title to this blog and understood immediately that I'm referencing Raymond Carver's short story, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love."

How wonderful for a writer to be known simply by the syntax of… Read full post »

The other day in the Sharpening the Quill Writers' Workshop I lead every month, I talked about what's known as the Universal Story in narrative -- the common structure beneath all kinds of narrative.  It has a triune form (as do most fairy tales and religious imagery, but… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 14, 2013 2:37PM

Will I Write Again?

Perhaps it was Philip Roth's announcement that he's throwing in the pen that got me thinking about retiring from writing, but the thought has been skittering about in the darker corners of my mind over the past few weeks.  It could also be a merely my usual pre-publishing state of mind. … Read full post »

FEBRUARY 9, 2013 9:34AM

You Had Me At 'Torture'

On this snowy morning, rather than spend my time out frolicking with the Rescuepoo in the drifts (which I promise I'll do in a few minutes, really, Dog... try and be patient!) I feel compelled to enter into the ridiculous fray surrounding  what may be the most unlikely… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 5, 2013 5:48PM

The Spirituality of Imperfection

IN the Japanese tradition of
In the Japanese tradition of "Wabi-Sabi" that which is imperfect is considered deeply spiritual and beautiful.

I'm re-reading a great book right now, called THE SPIRITUALITY OF IMPERFECTION.  Sounds tailor-made for me, doesn't it?  I know, I know.

This books speaks to me on sever… Read full post »

JANUARY 30, 2013 5:42PM

Mini-workshop: Conflict in Narrative

Today's blog is a mini-workshop for writers, on the subject of conflict in narrative.

For emerging writers, one of the most important aspects of story-telling is conflict.  Something has to happen in a narrative, and what happens has to matter.  By which I mean that whatever your protagoni… Read full post »

JANUARY 23, 2013 8:33PM

Aiming for Oblivion

bipolar-woman-alcohol-200Today a woman told me she didn't think she had a drinking problem because she never drank to feel better, or even to get high, the way others did; she drank so she didn't have to feel anything.  She found her emotions intolerable, and she drank aiming… Read full post »

JANUARY 9, 2013 5:45PM

What To Do? What To Do?

I had a phone chat recently with a writer friend of mine.  We both have books coming out this spring and are both dealing with the pre-publication jitters.  His editor called him to say a blurb for the book had come in and it was a really nice… Read full post »

DECEMBER 27, 2012 4:00PM

Chief Theresa Spence -- My hero

Chief Theresa Spence
Chief Theresa Spence

I have been wondering, over the past days, how to tackle the subject of Chief Theresa Spence's hunger strike, the "Idle No More" movement, and the treatment of First Nations people by the Canadian government.  My disappointment in Prime Minister Harper and his gov… Read full post »

DECEMBER 21, 2012 2:43PM

Return of the Light

Winter Solstice.  The longest night.  The darkest time.

After the sorrow of this particular month, with the senseless slaughter of innocents a week ago today, and the mass insanity of doomsday cults, perhaps we may be forgiven for not quite believing the light will ever return.  The… Read full post »

I've been meaning to write a blog for a few days now, but I keep starting and then stopping.  There seems so much to say, about many things:  the US election, my 'magical uterus', hurricanes, what constitutes rape, gun ownership and now this -- the mob of IsraeliRead full post »

There's an interesting piece about literary criticism in the Aug. 15, 2012 New York Times, written by literary critic Dwight Garner, called "A Critic's Case for Critics Who Are Actually Critical."  It's a fun article to read, peppered as it is with just the sorts of anecdotes that… Read full post »

I have been reading seriously for a long time.  And I can’t imagine a life without books.  As someone wise once said, “If you find reading boring, you’re not doing it right.”

Which begs the question, what does it mean to “do it right?”

A particularly fine

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JULY 19, 2012 9:42AM

The Woman in the Work in Progress

What's she up to?

Some time ago, I found this photo on the web and for the life of me, I can’t remember where, or who the woman is, or who took the photo, so if you happen to know, please tell me.

Her face was exactly the face I’ve been… Read full post »

JULY 13, 2012 10:17AM

Journals & A Writing Exercise

I have a lovely writing journal.  It’s leather bound and has my name embossed in gold on the front.  I resisted such a journal for a long time, preferring to write in little throw-away notebooks.  However, the reason I love this one is that the pages themselves are refillable, so… Read full post »

JULY 2, 2012 11:56AM

Books, books, and . . .

I was teaching a writing workshop on Saturday and the subject of reading came up, as it often does.  Students are not surprised when I suggest that, if they really want to be writers, they also have to be readers. What does seem to surprise some of them, though, is how… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 21, 2012 9:21AM

The Despair of the War Journalist

Martha Gellhorn (photo by Sarah J. Coleman)

I watched a truly dreadful film on HBO recently, called “Hemingway & Gellhorn.”  Sadly, a more laughable portrayal of the two writers in question cannot be imagined.  This was doubly sad because I am quite a fan of Martha Gellhorn�… Read full post »

MAY 23, 2012 10:31AM

Creativity Boost

You never know where an idea will pop up

Students and readers often ask me how I keep my creative fires stoked, so here’s a list I’m working on. They are primarily for writers, but would work for anyone seeking to be more creative. I’ll post more as they occur to… Read full post »

MAY 16, 2012 1:13PM

We Remain Faithful

Gustave Flaubert

"Talent is long patience."
-- Gustave Flaubert

A few years ago I lay on the couch in my living room, curled up into a fetal position, intermittently groaning and blinking back tears.

I felt as though everything I had worked for had been ripped away… Read full post »

APRIL 27, 2012 7:22PM

“The Beginner’s Goodbye”

In case you’re interested, my review of Anne Tyler’s new novel, “The Beginner’s Goodbye” is up other at  You can click here to read it.

I just got back from Ottawa, where I was at the “Politics & the Pen” gala dinner, which raises money fo… Read full post »

Students often ask me how I manage to get to the page.  They want to know if I light candles, do yoga, drink coffee, read poetry . . . I answer yes to pretty much everything, although I do none of those things consistently.  (And besides, I’m not sure any such… Read full post »

APRIL 16, 2012 3:33PM

The Dirty Dozen

I was asked by OPEN BOOK TORONTO to share 12 unexpected things about myself.  Here are the first three:

  1. I cook a really mean lamb tagine (and will share the recipe if you want it.)
  2. I have a secret crush on Vin Diesel. I also have a secret crush
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APRIL 15, 2012 8:05PM

The Shadow In The Mirror

I recently wrote an essay for “The 49th Shelf” about what happens when we think in terms of “us versus them,” a subject close to my heart, since it’s the theme of my recent novel, OUR DAILY BREAD.

Here’s the beginning of it:

At a dinner party recently, someone brou

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