Susan Davenport was brought up mainly in Canada. After studying English and Art History at Nottingham University, she spent many years teaching in further and higher education, both in the UK and abroad, as well as working with a refugee unit within a university. Since retiring she has been writing and making clay sculptures. She lives in London.
Susan has written stories since childhood, but has only recently started to submit anything for publication. She has had a monologue produced on stage in London and has written a novel, The Fall of a Correct Man, a black comedy set in contemporary London and communist Czechoslovakia between 1950 and 1970. She is now working on a second novel and is completing a project combining sculpture and writing called ‘Women in Boxes’.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to, and if so, how many times have you read it?
A: I love David Copperfield and War and Peace and have read them each four times. They are fresh and full of energy and the reader lives fully in the world they create. Each time I re-read them, I see something different, responding to the way I have changed since my last read. I read a lot of Russian literature in translation and I’ve read a story by Platonov, ‘Among Animals and Plants’, many times because it is so poetic, haunting and profound.
Q: What is the least interesting part of writing for you?
A: Checking for typos, repetitions and stupid errors and then doing it again because I haven’t done it properly the first time!
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: Maybe 1920s First Republic in Prague. Beautiful city, café life, music, opera, art, photography, so many interesting people, lots of ideas and optimism about the future.
It wasn’t until she found the arm on the kitchen table, wrapped in a length of muslin up to the wrist, the hand exposed and the index finger pointing at her usual seat at the kitchen table, that Lucy started to have suspicions. Joe came down for breakfast five minutes later, groggy with sleep and …