Peter Ho Davies was born on August 30, 1966, in Coventry, England. An only child, his father was Welsh, and his mother was Chinese from Malaysia. He attended the University of Manchester, from which he received a B.S. in physics and the history of philosophy and science. He also received a B.A. degree in English from Cambridge University in 1989. In 1992 he moved to the United States and attended Boston University, from which he received an M.A. in creative writing. Davies felt he had to leave Britain if he wanted to write and teach writing, for, at the time of his move, there were more than three hundred creative writing programs in the United States, while there were only ten in Britain.
Davies’s first story, “The Ugliest House in the World,” appeared in 1995 in The Antioch Review and was promptly chosen for Best American Short Stories. More stories soon appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, and The Paris Review. Davies lectured at Emory University in 1996 and 1997 and then took a job as assistant professor at the University of Oregon, after which he moved to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor to teach in the M.F.A. program. He married Lynn Anne Raugley in 1994.
Davies dates his desire to be a writer to his teenage years, when he read a book titled Who Writes Science Fiction, by Charles Platt, a collection of interviews with science-fiction authors such as Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, and Harlan Ellison. Davies did not attend an author’s reading until he was in his twenties, and thus for a long time the only evidence he had that writers were real people, not some special class, were those interviews in Who Writes Science Fiction.
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