Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis

in Northampton (Massachusetts), The United States
July 15, 1947



Lydia Davis, acclaimed fiction writer and translator, is famous in literary circles for her extremely brief and brilliantly inventive short stories. In fall 2003 she received one of 25 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” awards. In granting the award the MacArthur Foundation praised Davis’s work for showing “how language itself can entertain, how all that what one word says, and leaves unsaid, can hold a reader’s interest. . . . Davis grants readers a glimpse of life’s previously invisible details, revealing new sources of philosophical insights and beauty.” In 2013 She was the winner of the Man Booker International prize.

Davis’s recent collection, “Varieties of Disturbance” (May 2007), was featured on the front cover of the “Los Angeles Times Bo

Average rating: 4.06 · 59,835 ratings · 5,809 reviews · 107 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Collected Stories

4.26 avg rating — 4,686 ratings — published 2009 — 11 editions
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Can't and Won't: Stories

3.62 avg rating — 3,385 ratings — published 2014 — 20 editions
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Varieties of Disturbance

3.81 avg rating — 1,828 ratings — published 2007 — 2 editions
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Samuel Johnson Is Indignant

3.97 avg rating — 1,478 ratings — published 2001 — 6 editions
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The End of the Story

3.70 avg rating — 1,681 ratings — published 1994 — 21 editions
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Break It Down

4.03 avg rating — 1,471 ratings — published 1986 — 11 editions
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Almost No Memory

4.05 avg rating — 925 ratings — published 1997 — 12 editions
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The Cows

3.99 avg rating — 251 ratings — published 2011 — 5 editions
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Story, and Other Stories

4.43 avg rating — 44 ratings — published 1983
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The Sock

2.97 avg rating — 66 ratings
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“Heart weeps.
Head tries to help heart.
Head tells heart how it is, again:
You will lose the ones you love. They will all go. But even the earth will go, someday.
Heart feels better, then.
But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart.
Heart is so new to this.
I want them back, says heart.
Head is all heart has.
Help, head. Help heart.”
Lydia Davis, Varieties of Disturbance

“There seemed to be three choices: to give up trying to love anyone, to stop being selfish, or to learn to love a person while continuing to be selfish.”
Lydia Davis

“If you think of something, do it.

Plenty of people often think, “I’d like to do this, or that.”
Lydia Davis

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