Saturday, April 29, 2017

Grania Davis

who, it would appear, died yesterday, was one of the most interesting people I knew - and one of my favorites, a model of the lively and intelligent older woman.

In her distant youth, she was for a few years the wife of Avram Davidson, and remained a friend and literary collaborator with him ever afterwards, and one of the foremost proponents of his work after he died.

Soon after her time with Avram, she was for a brief period the live-with ladyfriend of Philip K. Dick. Being romantically entangled with PKD was a hazardous occupation (Grania slotted in between his third wife and his fourth wife), but she remained devoted to his work as well, and one of the last times I talked with her was over dinner at the PKD conference in San Francisco a few years ago.

By the time I met her she had settled down for the long haul, in a home in Terra Linda in Marin County, with a very calm and quiet doctor named Steve Davis, who died a while back.

But it's unfair to define a woman by her men, however important or interesting or relevant they may be. Grania was a solo author herself, not just Avram's collaborator. I first encountered her in the form of the name on the title page of The Rainbow Annals, a fantasy novel based on Tibetan mythology, which is something you don't see every day. It stuck with me, and I remembered it when I met her some time later at some fannish social event.

We always remembered each other, and always had a great time talking. She was interested in almost anything. I was not in the least surprised to see her and Steve among the audience at a performance reading of Beowulf in the original Anglo-Saxon, something else you don't come across every day. And the last time I saw her was at Borderlands for the publication party of her short-story collection, Tree of Life, Book of Death: The Treasures of Grania Davis. That I had to have, and I was delighted to get it in the author's presence.

No comments:

Post a Comment