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David Watmough Biography

(1926– ), Love and the Waiting Game, From a Cornish Landscape, The Time of the Kingfishers

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Canadian novelist, born in London, educated at King's College, University of London. He grew up on a farm in Cornwall, leaving Britain in the late 1940s for Paris, New York, San Francisco, and finally Vancouver. He writes that his ‘persistent literary impulse probably derives from a Cornish/Celtic youthful pre-occupation with familial unity, plus the further impetus coming from a sexually marginalized man who still thinks “family”’. All his fiction, from the early collections Love and the Waiting Game (1975) and From a Cornish Landscape (1975) onwards, is concerned with the pressures exerted by conflicting relationships between individuals. His work has been described by critics as conforming with a wider trend in Canadian writing towards domestic social realism. The Time of the Kingfishers (1994), which is set against Vancouver's changing social and cultural landscape, concentrates on the lives of three markedly different couples, all approaching middle age, as they discuss their lives together. His autobiographical work Thy Mother's Glass (1992) traces forty years in the life of Davey Bryant, and slowly unveils Davey's gay identity while navigating the fraught love that exists between a mother and a son who don't understand each other. From childhood in Cornwall, and travels through Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa, he finally ends up in San Francisco on the eve of Stonewall, the riot that sparked the Gay Liberation movement.

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