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This is a brief discussion of Kathryn Davis and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Davis.
This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Davis: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)
I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Davis tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Davis worthy; in sum, to help you rank Kathryn Davis (and the works by Davis listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.
A Few Words About Kathryn Davis
Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the “Other Resources” section below will lead you to some information about the “Notable Books” listed farther down this page.
Davis is a well-received author in the literary world, and there are quite a few reviews of individual books around, some of which I link below; but there is not a lot of general critical material about her. What there is comes mainly down to a couple of essays: “The Influence of Anxiety: Kathryn Davis May Be the Best Author You Haven’t Read Yet” by Dorothy Parka at the Hipster Book Club [archived copy]; and a shorter but still utile appreciation of Davis at Exhibit X Fiction [archived copy]. In addition, there are two Bookslut interviews with Davis: one from 2003 [archived copy], the other from 2006 [archived copy].
To get analysis beyond those, we need to turn to one-off reviews of some of her individual books. For The Thin Place, the Metacritic site has—as its name implies—links to numerous reviews [archived copy] (I will not separately link any listed there, which, incidentally, all range from “favorable” to “outstanding”); the Beatrice blog also has a few words from Davis herself about the book.
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