Julian Davies

Crow Mellow, the sixth novel by Julian Davies, centres on a bush retreat where a millionaire couple gathers artists to share around ideas. From an optimistic standpoint, the retreat is a salon. Viewed differently, all parties are engaged in a status grab: artists ‘came from the cities of the east coast to score … the kudos of being there when their colleagues weren’t’. For the millionaires, collecting artists has its own benefits.

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Lost Art: Two Essays on Cultural Dysfunction is an absorbing and lyrical journey through the contemporary art world. Combining a sensibility that is both highly critical and deeply personal, Julian Davies and Phil Day analyse what is celebrated and what is forgotten in an increasingly ruthless and commercial industry.

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In his latest novel, Moments of Pleasure, Julian Davies continues his exploration of father and son relationships, and of the role of desire in women’s lives. He talks here about his interest in contemporary manners, beginning by answering the question, why so much talk and so little pleasure?

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Beatrice Wood, banished by those around her to ‘the category of the aged’, is both the focus and the strength of Julian Davies’s third novel, Moments of Pleasure. Choosing to live her life as a single woman, she has been the unforgiven Magdalene of her family because for fifty years she has been the lover of Mark, a man twice married. A dapper moustache of a man, Mark drifts in and out of both Bea’s life and the novel.

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Have you ever looked at a duck? There is more to it, to use that peculiar cliché, than meets the eye. Watching ducks has been my labour for some time, but, of course, it will be so only for a limited period. Still, I expect I will always retain the interest now that I have come to know ducks better.

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