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Amanda Davis

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The writer Amanda Davis died in a plane crash on Friday, along with her parents. The McSweeney’s website is hosting a sort of memorial this week. I haven’t read her novel yet, but I liked her short story collection very much. This is a terrible loss.

More on Davis from PW NewsLine:

    Davis’s eerily titled novel Wonder When You’ll Miss Me, about a troubled teenager name Faith Duckle, came out to strong reviews last month. The author had left Malaprop’s in Asheville and gotten on a plane with her father, who had been flying her to all her events, bound for McIntyre’s, in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

    She was supposed to arrive in New York shortly after and meet with Morrow publicist Claire Greenspan Monday night, who was to have prepped her for what the publisher calls Davis’s “New York Week” – readings at B&N Astor Place and Housing Works, among other appearances. But her plane never made it Friday evening.

    Greenspan was one of the last people to talk to Davis; the author had called her publicist as she was getting on the fateful flight. “It’s all just very surreal. Things just don’t happen this way,” Greenspan said today, recalling how she spoke to Davis during her tour “about eight times a day.” Talking with Greenspan, one thing was clear (at of course too high a price): how the sometimes frayed and superficial bond between author and publicist can often be warm and deep.

    Davis, a Bread Loaf fellow and Paris Review contributor, was very connected to literary scenes on both coasts. Many of her tour stops will go on as scheduled, with other authors and her friends readings her work, including the Bay Area’s Daniel Handler, who will read at A Clean Well-Lighted Place.

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  • Adair Lara has an appreciation of Amanda Davis in today’s SF Chronicle.

    McSweeny’s links to has a couple of her stories online.

    Fat ladies floated in the sky like balloons

    Louisiana Loses Its Cricket Hum

    They also list these events:

    A memorial service for Amanda will be held in New York City on Wednesday, March 26, at Housing Works in SoHo. The address is: 126 Crosby Street. Phone: (212) 334-3324

    On April 19, at 7 PM, A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco will host a reading of Amanda Davis’s work. The address is 601 Van Ness Avenue. Phone: (415) 441-6670.

  • The New York Observer runs a piece on Davis wherein a number of her friends express anger toward “her publisher, William Morrow, for its lack of support for her novel.”

  • asadollah amraee

    A good friend is gone,
    Sometimes before her tragic death I had an interview with amanda davis regaring her book and short stories.She promised to send a picture of hers but alas her life was very short.I will be grateful if any body send me a high resolution picture of amanda to have a memorial of her.
    Asadollah Amraee

  • Noreen Sumpter

    I had the great pleasure of meeting Amanda not to many years ago. About approximately 2 years maybe 3 at most. She was a fun adventurous soul who had a future that was to be filled with success, fun more fun and adventure. What I loved about her was that she knew what she wanted and she trusted. She trusted because she knew trust. I remember going to the apartment that she was to buy and noticing that she had a number of blue stars on her body. I remember asking her what they are about and she exclaimed that she had ran away to be with the circus. I loved that about her. That she would get an idea and run with it. She was always smiling, laughing out loud. Amanda always wanted the best for her 100’s of friends. Amanda Davis will never ever be forgotten, cause as humans we/me it is very rare that we meet such free spirits and we need them even if it is to meet them once in our lives to remind us that life is for the living and we should live it hard and in Amanda’s case fast Tomorrow is not promised even when are dreams are coming true.

    I knew her for a brief time, however, I will know her forever. Everyone loves you Amanda.

    Noreen Sumpter

  • Thanks for posting that.

    Just a reminder that on Sat. at 7 PM, A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco will host a reading of Amanda Davis’s work. The address is 601 Van Ness Avenue.

  • CA Author Dies in Plane Crash
    Posted by Rose Quintiliano on Apr 1, 2003, 15:43 PST

    A 32-year old novelist was killed when her father lost control of the single-engine plane she was using for her national book tour. Amanda Davis was described as a brilliant writer, her first novel, “Wonder When You’ll Miss Me,” was published last month and had received rave reviews.

    “She was on her way to literary fame,” said Andrew Wright, manager of the Malaprop bookstore in Asheville, N.C., where she had read to a packed crowd the night before. Her dad, James Davis, 63, chairman of the neurology department of Long Island’s Stony Brook University, was flying his wife, Francie, 59, and his daughter to her next book signing near Chapel Hill, N.C., when his Cessna 177 Cardinal crashed into the mountain. The father, who did not have an instrument rating, had reported encountering bad weather.

    The three were the only ones on the plane, which crashed shortly after takeoff Friday afternoon, the 14th of March, from the Asheville Airport, authorities said. The plane was discovered on the wooded mountainside 16 miles from Asheville, early Saturday.

    In addition to the now-prophetic title, the book contains other eerie references, including a lyric from the song,”Leaving on a Jet Plane”, written by John Denver, who died at the controls of his own plane.

    Amanda’s brother said the family book tour was testament to the pride his parents felt in their daughter’s novel.

    She was promoting her book, which touches on mental illness and sexual abuse, published by William Morrow. The heroine of the coming-of-age novel, Faith Duckle, lives in North Carolina before running away to join the circus. Davis’ first book, a collection of short stories called “Circling the Drain,” included a story called “Crash” that opens with a description of a plane crash. “We are weaving through your life when a plane falls from the sky. You could not have prepared for this moment, but you appreciate it as you would any other,” it begins.

    In addition to Adam, the family is survived by his sister Joanna, 26, an artist in San Francisco.

    Amanda Davis was raised in Durham, North Carolina, and was last living in Oakland, California, where she taught at Mills College. Her fiction, nonfiction, and reviews have been published in various magazines, including Esquire and Seventeen.


  • I didn’t hear of Amanda Davis until after her death. I didn’t read any Amanda Davis until after her death.

    I feel so lost, though, knowing that I will never know her. I’ve read everything I can find by or about her…

    I really just… aspire to be like her. I can’t quite articulate it, but I wish I knew her. I wish I had read her work earlier and sent her an email or a letter to tell her how much I loved it…

    I don’t know what I wish, really. I just felt compelled to comment…
    She just writes so well, and I just want to be like her.

  • Christian

    I too hadn’t read any of Amanda’s work until after her passing, but her novel was so touching I just had to comment. I’m finishing up a degree in Creative Writing and chose Amanda to profile as a creative writer I admire. As I continue to research on her life and read all the great comments written about her, I can only assume that she was as wonderful a person and teacher as I suspected she might be. Rest in peace.