The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
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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.
in their schoolroom writing, they are in fact on a higher elevation than the center of town, which they not only colloquially but also correctly refer to as “down town.” They are closer to the center of town, however, than is the hospital, which they locate “over there.” Their plateau is also lower than the elevation on which the hospital sits, which they refer to as “up there.” “Up there” may also indicate their awareness of the fact that the hospital lies slightly to the north of the town. It
metal container, well wrapped in clothes. That was now her home, or her bed. I had not wanted to put her in the rolling suitcase. I thought that riding on my back she would at least be near my head. 4 We waited for the bus. I ate an apple so old it was nearly baked like a pie apple. I don’t know if she, too, heard and was bothered by the recorded announcement. It came over the loudspeaker every few minutes. The bad grammar in the beginning is what would have bothered her: “Due to
shorts and high rubber boots, went about their work steadily, maneuvering hooks, hoisting a dredger, then a large piece of grating. The boat’s engine throbbed, sometimes thundered. On another night it was later. I was the only one watching. Sparks flew up into the darkness from a boat where something was being welded or soldered. Another boat set out to sea after blowing its whistle. A black fisherman ran to the stern of the boat as it pulled away. He looked up, smiled, and waved. I have just
homework and help out at the cash register. To reach the library I cross the street by the butcher shop, at the only traffic light in town. On the way back, I sometimes stop in at the grocery store to buy milk and bananas. I get home in time for the show, put the carriage on the back porch by the trumpet vine, take the baby into the living room, and settle on the floor with him. He has changed in the months since I started watching the show here. Now he can stand up and is tall enough to reach
the sun porch. But because of some problem with the children, at the same time as the brother-in-law had fallen into a drunken stupor, the great-grandmothers were forgotten by everyone for a very long time. When we opened the glass door, made our way through the rubber trees, and approached the sunlit old women, it was too late: their gnarled hands had grown into the wood of their cane handles, their lips had cleaved together into one membrane, their eyeballs had hardened and were immovably