Gerry Howard

'At twenty-four when our paths crossed, he was painfully deferential, totally unworldly, woefully underdressed, but you knew that he possessed a formidable, even staggering talent and intellect.'

Bonnie Nadell

'In order to write, David couldn’t be in the public eye and still function. It was simply too hard for him. David didn’t have the armour most of us develop to survive in the world.'

Amy Wallace-Havens

'David loved being a writer, not so that he could dazzle us with the glorious arias of his intellect, but so that he could take us with him as he questioned what most of us don’t bother to question.'


'Athenians, in the main, are taut and deep brown and much taller than I imagined. From the shade in the cafe, I can get a good look at them down at the shore.'

Francis Plug Attends A John Banville Reading

'I too was drinking, having helped myself to a bottle of white from the complimentary drinks table. I’d placed this bottle on the Current Affairs shelving to the right of my seat.'

Excessive Innovation and the Anxiety of Influence

'Most people have an ear for the best new bits of language they come across – a better or richer or just smarter-sounding way of expressing ideas which are anyway always slightly beyond language’s grasp.'

Why the Yew Lives So Long

'Men did not learn that death breeds only death. Little by little, the reputation of the yew grew. Without wishing it, the yew became a symbol of resurrection and hope, and wisdom.'

Why Willows Weep

'Long ago, when the world was still quite young, the trees and plants ruled all living things. I say ‘ruled’ but there was no need then for rules; rather they were the caretakers of creation.'