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George Davis (1906 – 25 November 1957) was an influential Americanmarker fiction editor and minor novelist.

Early life

After an early period in Chicagomarker, Davis spent much of his twenties as an expatriate in Parismarker.

Literary career

The Opening of a Door

His only novel, the Opening of a Door, was published to critical praise in 1931.


He served as fiction editor of the periodical Harper's Bazaar from the years 1936 to 1941. After being fired from Harper's, he served as an editor for Mademoiselle for eight years. An overweight alcoholic and flamboyant homosexual, he is noted for attempting to bring serious literature to the generally light world of woman's magazines. He was an early sponsor of such diverse literary figures as Truman Capote, Ray Bradbury and Jane Bowles.

February House

Davis and several friends, including Gypsy Rose Lee, founded an art commune at 7 Middagh Street in Brooklyn Heightsmarker in October 1940. Dubbed February House by Anaïs Nin because so many of its residents had February birthdays, the house became a hub of cultural activities in New Yorkmarker. Figures like Benjamin Britten, W. H. Auden and Carson McCullers were live-in guests. A study of 7 Middagh Street, entitled February House, was published in 2005.


He died of a heart attack in Berlinmarker, where he had been helping his wife, singer Lotte Lenya, make recordings.

Davis in literature

A very unflattering literary duplicate of George Davis was written by Truman Capote in the form of the character "Boaty" in his unfinished work Answered Prayers.


  • Clarke, Gerald. Capote: A Biography. Carroll & Graf, 2005.
  • Tippins, Sherill. February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof In Wartime America. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

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