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Varieties of Disturbance

Stories

Varieties of Disturbance by Lydia Davis
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Lydia Davis has been called "one of the quiet giants in the world of American fiction" (Los Angeles Times), "an American virtuoso of the short story form" (Salon), an innovator who attempts "to remake the model of the modern short story" (The New York Times Book Review). Her admirers include Grace Paley, Jonathan Franzen, and Zadie Smith; as Time magazine observed, her stories are "moving . . . and somehow inevitable, as if she has written what we were all on the verge of thinking."

In Varieties of Disturbance, her fourth collection, Davis extends her reach as never before in stories that take every form from sociological studies to concise poems. Her subjects include the five senses, fourth-graders, good taste, and tropical storms. She offers a reinterpretation of insomnia and re-creates the ordeals of Kafka in the kitchen. She questions the lengths to which one should go to save the life of a caterpillar, proposes a clear account of the sexual act, rides the bus, probes the limits of marital fidelity, and unlocks the secret to a long and happy life.

No two of these fictions are alike. And yet in each, Davis rearranges our view of the world by looking beyond our preconceptions to a bizarre truth, a source of delight and surprise.

Varieties of Disturbance is a 2007 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; May 2007
240 pages; ISBN 9781466806276
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Title: Varieties of Disturbance
Author: Lydia Davis
 
  • News
Poems or stories, they're exquisite - San Francisco Chronicle
Mon, 21 May 2007 19:42:03 -0700
San Francisco ChroniclePoems or stories, they're exquisiteSan Francisco Chronicleand you'll have a sense of this ...
Lydia Davis's Muted Protest - Boston Review
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 05:45:00 -0700
Boston ReviewLydia Davis's Muted ProtestBoston ReviewLydia Davis's last book—not including The Collected Stories—is ...
'Can't and Won't: Stories,' by Lydia Davis - SFGate
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:57:43 -0700
SFGate'Can't and Won't: Stories,' by Lydia DavisSFGateLydia Davis is a strange bird. Or, at least, the ...
ISBNs
9780374281731
9781466806276