David Coventry

David wrote a hybrid novel exploring the impossibilities and improbabilities of living with ME/CFS.

PhD Awarded 2022

Author and PhD David Coventry. (Photo supplied.)

David is an author with a background in music and audio engineering, currently based in Christchurch. He has an Honours degree in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington and completed his MA at the IIML in 2010. Previously a researcher for the New Zealand Film Archive, David's first novel The Invisible Mile (Te Herenga Waka University Press, 2015), was shortlisted for the Ockham Book Awards in 2016 and won the Hubert Church Award for Best First Book. Mile is published in the UK and Commonwealth by Picador UK, and the USA and Canada by Europa Editions. It has been translated into Dutch, Hebrew, Spanish, Danish and German and found its way onto multiple local and international book of the year rolls and prize longlists. His second novel, Dance Prone, was published around the world in 2020.

David's thesis was awarded a place on Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University's prestigious Deans List in 2022, and the resulting novel, 2024's Performance, has been described as a 'masterpiece' and compared to the work of Virginia Woolf and Thomas Bernhard. He was the 2022 Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence at Canterbury University and has two new books near completion. He is thinking about getting a cat.

David says: 'I wrote a novel-memoir hybrid examining the problems of adequately representing life with ME/CFS. Indeed, the resulting book did not attempt to represent the disease, but rather enact the experience of cognitive impairment and severe fatigue through formal experimentation and language's inherent tendency to destabilise and deform the known.'

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