Bio

Photo: Susan Meiselas

Peter Davis is the author of the novel Girl of My Dreams, about a young screenwriter who comes of age in the 1930s at the intersection of Hollywood, the Depression, and the Communist Party. Girl of My Dreams is being published by Open Road and is available on Amazon. An excerpt appeared in the online literary magazine, The Straddler.

Davis’ nonfiction books include If You Came This Way, which portrays the underclass in America and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; Where Is Nicaragua? about the Sandinistas who overthrew the longest dictatorship in Central America, front page New York Times Book Review and Book of the Month Club Alternate selection; and Hometown, a chronicle of life in a single midwestern town, a Literary Guild Alternate Selection, optioned by Norman Lear for a television series. His nonfiction has been praised by Graham Greene, John Irving, Robert Stone, and William Styron. The author of many magazine articles, he was a contributing editor for Esquire. He covered the war in Iraq for The Nation, to which he is a regular contributor.

Davis was born in California, the son of screenwriter parents Frank Davis and the short story writer and novelist Tess Slesinger. After graduating from Harvard, he worked in New York City as a writer and documentary filmmaker. His first documentaries were for CBS News where he made the landmark investigative film The Selling of the Pentagon, which won the Emmy, Peabody, Writers Guild, George Polk, Ohio State, and Saturday Review awards. His next film was the Vietnam War documentary Hearts and Minds, for which he received the Academy Award and France’s Prix Sadoul. Subsequent films include JACK, a biography of John F. Kennedy, which was nominated for two Emmys and won one, and the Middletown series of six films made in one American community, nominated for ten Emmys and received two; one of the films in the series, Seventeen, won first prize at the Sundance Festival.

Other awards are the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in Documentary Filmmaking from The New School, and the Peace and Freedom Medal, Vietnam.

Photo by Susan Meiselas.