Books by Lydia Davis

CAN'T AND WON'T by Lydia Davis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 8, 2014

"Whether fiction or non, Davis never bores."
Five years after a mammoth, comprehensive collection of stories secured her literary legacy, this unique author explores new directions and blurs boundaries in writing that is always fresh and often funny. Read full book review >
MADAME BOVARY by Gustave Flaubert
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 27, 2010

I'd better confess up front: I have always disliked Madame Bovary. Read full book review >

VARIETIES OF DISTURBANCE by Lydia Davis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2007

"An initially off-putting collection that gradually becomes habit-forming."
More dauntingly opaque but often brilliant snippets and meditations from MacArthur recipient Davis (Samuel Johnson Is Indignant, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
SAMUEL JOHNSON IS INDIGNANT by Lydia Davis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

Translator, novelist, and short-fiction specialist Davis (Almost No Memory, 1997, etc.) assembles another fine collection of 54 wry, haunting pieces, old and new, brief and long, nearly all previously published. Read full book review >

ALMOST NO MEMORY by Lydia Davis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1997

Soberly eclectic doesn't begin to describe this new assortment of 51 short (often very short) stories from Davis, whose first collection, Break it Down (1986), and novel, The End of the Story (1995), have both received much favorable notice. These disparate tales of quiet desperation range from a long 18th-century travel narrative through the vastness of Russia to views of stultifying small-town life, from a rumination on Glenn Gould to a terse description of marriage as an endless round of bruised feelings and displays of pettiness. ``Lord Royston's Tour'' chronicles the hardships of a diffident traveler as he encounters one difficulty after another on a journey from the Arctic Circle to Asian deserts, surviving many close calls only to perish at sea on his way home. ``Mr. Knockly'' details the pursuit of a strange man by the equally odd narrator, who seeks the reason for the man's despair at her aunt's funeral but never gets the answer: She loses interest, and he is murdered. Read full book review >

THE END OF THE STORY by Lydia Davis
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

This first novel from prize-winning short-story writer Davis (Break It Down, 1986) wryly turns a failed love affair into a therapeutic literary experiment. Now living on a different coast and with a different man, the narrator, a translator and academic, confesses that the novel she's trying to write is ``about a lost man,'' the man she once loved to the point of obsession. Read full book review >

LIFE/SITUATIONS by Paul Auster
HISTORY
Released: April 15, 1977

This collection of four essays (1971-73) and three interviews (1971-75) by Sartre assumes additional, touching significance with his revelation that because of blindness his "occupation as a writer is completely destroyed." Read full book review >