Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis

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Lydia Davis

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Lydia Davis (born 1947) is a contemporary American short story writer, and French translator.


She is the daughter of Robert Gorham Davis and Hope Hale Davis. From 1974 to 1978 Davis was married to Paul Auster, with whom she has a son, Daniel Auster. Davis is currently married to artist Alan Cote, with whom she has a son, Theo Cote. She is a professor of creative writing at University at Albany, SUNY.

She has published six collections of short stories, including The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories (1976) and Break It Down (1986). Her most recent collection was Varieties of Disturbance, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2007. "The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis", published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2009, contains all her stories to date.

Her stories are acclaimed for their brevity and humour. Many are only one or two sentences. Some of her stories are considered poetry or somewhere between philosophy, poetry and short story.

Davis has also translated Proust, Flaubert, Blanchot, Foucault, Michel Leiris, Pierre Jean Jouve and other French writers.

In October 2003 Davis received a MacArthur Fellowship. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.

Reception and influence

Davis has been described as "the master of a literary form largely of her own invention."Craig Morgan Teicher, Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 11, 2009 Critic Jacob Appel...
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