"Remarkable. Some of the most moving fiction - on death, marriage, children - of recent years. To read "The Collected Stories" is to be reminded of the grand, echoing mind-chambers created by Sebald or recent Coetzee. A writer of vast intelligence and originality." ("Independent on Sunday"). Find out why fellow authors like Ali Smith, Dave Eggers and Jonathan Franzen love Lydia Davis' writing so much in this landmark collection of all of her stories to date from across three decades. And why James Wood described this book in 'The New Yorker' as 'a body of work probably unique in American writing' and 'one of the great, strange American literary contributions'.
Big rejoicing: Lydia Davis has won the Man Booker International prize. Never did a book award deliver such a true match-winning punch. Best of all, a new audience will read her now and find her wit, her vigour and rigour, her funniness, her thoughtfulness, and the precision of form, which mark Davis out as unique. Daring, excitingly intelligent and often wildly comic [she] reminds you, in a world that likes to bandy its words about, what words such as economy, precision and originality really mean. This is a writer as mighty as Kafka, as subtle as Flaubert and as epoch-making, in her own way, as Proust. A two-liner from Davis, or a seemingly throwaway paragraph, will haunt. What looks like a game will open to deep seriousness; what looks like philosophy will reveal playfulness, tragicomedy, ordinariness; what looks like ordinariness will ask you to look again at Davis's writing. In its acuteness, it always asks attentiveness, and it repays this by opening up to its reader like possibility, or like a bush covered in flowerheads. She's a joy. There's no writer quite like her. -- Ali Smith
Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections, the most recent of which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters for her fiction and her translations of modern French writers, including Blanchot and Proust.