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Famous Like Me > Writer > D > Avram Davidson

Profile of Avram Davidson on Famous Like Me

Name: Avram Davidson  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 23rd April 1923
Place of Birth: Yonkers, New York, USA
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Avram Davidson (April 23, 1923 - May 8, 1993) was a crime fiction, fantasy fiction, and science fiction writer and editor. Davidson edited The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in the early 1960s.

Davidson wrote many stories for fiction magazines beginning in the 1950s, after publishing his first fiction in Commentary and other Jewish intellectual magazines. He was active in science fiction fandom from his teens. His best-known works are his novels about Virgil, the magician that medieval legend made out of the Roman poet of the same name; the Peregrine novels, a comic view of Europe shortly after the fall of Rome; the Jack Limekiller stories about a Canadian living in an imaginary South American country modelled after Belize during the 1960s, and, perhaps most notable of all, the stories of Dr. Esterhazy, a sort of even-more-erudite Sherlock Holmesian figure living in the mythical Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania, the waning fourth-largest empire in Europe. He also wrote dozens of short stories that defy classification, and the Adventures in Unhistory essays, which delve into puzzles such as the identity of Prester John and suggest solutions to them. His earlier historical essays were scrupulously researched, even when published by magazines just as happy to offer fiction as fact.

Much of Davidson's work was characterised by a great deal of erudite embellishment and asides. Very little may actually happen in a Davidson story, but he enjoyed describing it in enormous detail. Davidson succeeded with this technique because of a good ear for the way that people talk, an encyclopedic store of obscure and fascinating knowledge, and an irresistibly comic view of the world that sees virtually everyone as eccentric.

The idea in his story "Or All the Seas with Oysters" (1958), is reputed to have become part of an 'urban legend' in the street culture of some children; namely, that bicycles arise from a life cycle that involves safety pins as pupae and coat hangers as larvae.

Davidson served as a US Marine Corps medic in the Pacific during World War II, and began his writing career as a Talmudic scholar around 1950. This made his study, and possible conversion to, Tenrikyo in the 1970s rather surprising. Although he had a reputation for being quick to anger when anyone tampered with his work or misunderstood it, Davidson was also greatly in demand as a storyteller, and well-known among his friends for his extreme generosity.

While editing The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction he lived in Mexico, later in Belize. In his later years, he lived in Washington state. He died in his tiny apartment in Bremerton on May 8, 1993. He was survived by his son Ethan, and his ex-wife Grania Davis, who continues to edit and release his unpublished works.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Avram Davidson