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Essays One
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About the Author

Lydia Davis is the author of The End of the Story: A Novel and several story collections, including Varieties of Disturbance, a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award and most recently, Can't and Won't. She is also the acclaimed translator of Swann's Way and Madame Bovary, both of which were awarded the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis was described by James Wood in The New Yorker as a "grand cumulative achievement." She is the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.

Reviews

"[Davis] is our Vermeer, patiently observing and chronicling daily life but from angles odd and askew. . . These pieces exalt clear language and the complicated work of looking and seeing. . . Davis takes pure pleasure in the muscular act of looking, and invites us to look alongside her." --Parul Sehgal, The New York Times She's so deeply cerebral it's perhaps counterintuitive that Davis is a companionable presence. She's erudite, with catholic interests, and earnest but not humorless. This is the kind of book you could read alone in a restaurant and feel you're lost in a stimulating conversation. --Rumaan Alam, The New Republic "The first in a planned two-volume collection of the nonfiction of short story author Davis (Samuel Johnson Is Indignant) proves a cornucopia of illuminating and timeless observations on literature, art, and the craft of writing . . . Fans of Davis's unfailingly clever work should add this volume to their collection, and creative writers of every genre should take the opportunity to learn from a legend." --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

One gets the impression that even the most fleeting of pieces in "Essays One," such as a few paragraphs about her favorite short stories, written for a British tabloid, has been given the precise and playful Lydia Davis treatment: "'Subtly, or less subtly, you always want to surprise a reader.'-- Brian Dillon, The New York Times Book Review Lively essays bound to stimulate debate among readers of global literature. --Kirkus Reviews "Davis, an innovative fiction writer, is also an erudite essayist, critic and translator, with an ever-questing mind evident in these 33 essays . . . An essential literary companion." --Jane Ciabattari, BBC Lydia Davis is one of those rare cases: an ambidextrous author who is just as capable of bowling a reader over with a short story as she is with an essay. --Malcolm Forbes, Star Tribune Lydia Davis is immensely learned; that is clear not only from her translation work but also from her distinguished discussions of the works she has translated. But in much of her nonfiction, she is also a master of the energies that drive her fiction, with its plain style, irony, sensitivity, and elegantly subdued power. --Sandra M. Gilbert, The American Scholar Davis is putting her more than 30 years of experience into a selection of essays on the craft of reading and writing; the first of the two-volume set comes out this fall. Don't expect run-of-the-mill advice like show don't tell here, though; Davis has made a career out of breaking the established rules . . . --The Week

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