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David Day (Canadian writer)

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David Day (born 1947 in Victoria, British Columbia) is a Canadian author and poet. He is best known for his literary criticism on J. R. R. Tolkien and his works.[1]


After finishing high school in Victoria, British Columbia, Day worked as a logger for five years on Vancouver Island before graduating in 1976 from the University of Victoria.[2] He has published over 40 books of poetry, natural history, ecology, mythology, fantasy and children's literature. He is best known for his books on the life and works of J. R. R. Tolkien.[3]

In 2015, Day was awarded a 'Distinguished Alumni Award' by the University of Victoria.[2]

As of 2020, Day lives in Toronto.[3]

Works on Tolkien[edit]

David Day has written multiple books pertaining to the world created by J. R. R. Tolkien. His fist book A Tolkien Bestiary, released in 1978, is an illustrated reference book on the fauna, flora and people of Middle Earth. The book has been translated in 20 languages and reprinted numerous times since.[4]

Davis Day's books expands and interprets the writings of Tolkien, and are sometimes criticized by the community for re-interpreting the original works too much and sometimes extrapolating without relying on the original text.[5][6]

David Day's books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.[7]


  • Day, David; Bowering, Marilyn, eds. (1977). Many voices : an anthology of contemporary Canadian Indian poetry. Vancouver: J.J. Douglas. ISBN 088894134X. OCLC 3696744. Search this book on (The poems of thirty-four Canadian Indian poets.)
  • Day, David (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 9780670279883. OCLC 12941192. Search this book on
  • Day, David (1979). A Tolkien Bestiary. London: Chancellor Press. ISBN 0753704595. OCLC 46790530. Search this book on
  • Day, David (1991). Tolkien : The Illustrated Encyclopedia. London [England]: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 9780753724224. OCLC 819690629. Search this book on
  • Day, David (1991). The walking catfish (1st American ed.). New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0027263606. OCLC 23252474. Search this book on
  • Day, David (2005). Claiming a continent : a new history of Australia (Updated and rev. ed.). Sydney, NSW: Harper Perennial. ISBN 9780732279981. OCLC 76752646. Search this book on
  • Day, David (2013). The Emperor's Panda (2nd ed.). Toronto, Ontario: 9781927443514. ISBN 9781927443514. OCLC 844533661. Search this book on (fiction)
  • Carroll, Lewis; Day, David (2015). Alice's adventures in Wonderland : Decoded. [Toronto, Ontario]. ISBN 9780385682268. OCLC 893890108. Search this book on
  • Day, David (2019). Antarctica. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190641337. OCLC 1097665204. Search this book on

Critical reactions[edit]

Colin Tudge, writing in New Scientist reviewed The Doomsday Book of Animals, writing:

The fate of D. Maximus provides one of the most poignant case-histories among the three hundred extinctions taking place over a mere three centuries that David Day describes in his outstanding The Doomsday Book of Animals. [8]

A review in Quill & Quire wrote of Nevermore:

Best known as the author of the Doomsday Book of Animals, poet and naturalist David Day returns to the subject of extinction with a frankly unclassifiable volume that combines primary texts, prose, and poetry. Taking the form of a 24-hour meditative vigil of the kind practiced by the Coptic Orthodox Church, each section in the book is devoted to a species of animal that has gone extinct during the time that homo sapiens has walked the earth. ... Nevermore is one of the most original and striking books of the year.[9]


  1. Biography at ABC Book World
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Distinguished Alumni List for 2015 - University of Victoria". Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 About The Author. Simon and Schuster. 22 May 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2020. Search this book on
  4. "David Day". 22 September 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  5. "Notes on David Day's Tolkien Books".
  6. "Customer Review and response from David Day".
  7. "About David Day". David Day Books.
  8. Tudge, Colin (1 October 1981). "Review". New Scientist. 92 (1273): 44.
  9. "Nevermore: A Book of Hours by David Day (Fourfront Editions)". Quill & Quire. St. Joseph Media. November 29, 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2020.

External links[edit]

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