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The collected stories of Lydia Davis (2009)

by Lydia Davis

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5481518,269 (4.17)26
  1. 00
    Winter Journal by Paul Auster (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Lydia Davis war die erste Ehefrau von Paul Auster. In seinen Memoiren beschreibt er auch die Zeit mit ihr, wenn er auch ihren Namen nicht explizit nennt.
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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
There are some truly amazing pieces in here; often, the shortest ones were the most mind-blowing. (Immediately coming to mind: "The Actors;" "A Strange Impulse;" "Head, Heart;" "Index Entry;"...) Every word seems carefully selected– but that makes this collection very dense (tho' in the best of ways), and to savor it, it takes a long time to finish. ( )
  KatrinkaV | Aug 3, 2015 |
Lydia Davis is a short story writer. She was awarded the Man Booker International prize in 2013.

She from her writing seems to be a middle aged woman recently divorced with identity issues. Her writing is easy going but story after story on similar themes of loneliness are tedious.

I left this book a quarter way in and I will congratulate anyone who can read Lydia Davis at one go. These stories can be consumed only in short bursts according to me. ( )
  mausergem | Jul 22, 2014 |
This is a lot of Lydia Davis. If you choose to read this volume (at 700 pages), rather than starting with one of her individual story collections, I'd advise taking it in small bits, while mixing in some other reading. Lydia Davis has been praised for her innovation in redefining what a 'story' can be. To say her stories are nontraditional would be stating the obvious. They range in length from one sentence to a more usual 10-15 pages. However, those latter are rare. I'd say the average is 2-3 pages. Many consist of a single paragraph. Some read like journal entries, while others read like clinical observations of domestic life. Certain ones appear to be the sort of notes you jot down in your writer's notebook, like half-formed ideas or short bursts of inspiration. Over time Davis's voice emerges and you settle in for the long haul. Her humor is subtle yet clever. It often appears out of nowhere. One story, 'Kafka Cooks Dinner', made me smile and chuckle the whole way through; however, this kind of humor would probably be lost or at least tempered on someone who hasn't read Kafka's writing at more than a cursory level. A lot of Davis's material reads like it's been mined straight from her own life, but this could merely be due to the straightforwardness of her prose. What I find interesting is that there is clear evidence in here that Davis is capable of quite deftly spinning a traditional narrative when she chooses to, although it's when she's toying with structure that she seems most in her element. Recommended for fans of Amy Hempel and other Gordon Lish mentees, as well as anyone else interested in having their understanding of the short story form shattered to bits. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 5, 2014 |
Love her translation of Swann's Way, but these teeny stories, while meticulously honed, remind me of nothing so much as jottings I used to make in my "Writing Ideas" notebook. Sorry, Lydia. {The physical book is a beauty.}

Nice profile in current New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/17/140317fa_fact_goodyear ( )
  ReneeGKC | Mar 12, 2014 |
These stories are long on ideas and word choice, and they're short on plot. Her writing reminded me of a lot of things at different points, from Amy Hempel to Borges. Occasionally I'd read something that just struck me as so hilarious or so true, but sometimes I felt bored or uninterested. Overall, though, I approve.

The physical volume is very handsome--I wish there were more books that looked like this one. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Davis approaches the short-story form with jazzy experimentation, tinkering with lists, circumlocutions, even interviews where the questions have been creepily edited out. You don’t work your way across this mesa-sized collection so much as pogo-stick about, plunging in wherever the springs meet the page.
 
With the publication of this big book... Davis might well receive the kind of notice she's long been due. She is the funniest writer I know; the unique pleasure of her wit resides in its being both mordant and beautifully sorrowful
 
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I kept tripping on the street and walking into walls. Everything I said made me want to laugh. But near the end of the hour I was also telling him how face-to-face with another person I couldn't speak. There was always a wall. "Is there a wall between you and me now?" he would ask. No, there was no wall there anymore.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374270600, Hardcover)

Lydia Davis is one of our most original and influential writers. She has been called “an American virtuoso of the short story form” (Salon) and “one of the quiet giants . . . of American fiction” (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, for the first time, Davis’s short stories will be collected in one volume, from the groundbreaking Break It Down (1986) to the 2007 National Book Award nominee Varieties of Disturbance.

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis is an event in American letters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Lydia Davis is one of our most original and influential writers, a storyteller celebrated for her emotional acuity, her formal inventiveness, and her ability to capture the mind in overdrive...This volume contains all her stories to date, from the acclaimed 'Break it down' (1986) to the 2007 National Book Award finalist 'Varieties of Disturbance'."--Front flap.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 024114504X, 0241950031

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