Lydia Davis wins Man Booker International Prize
May 29, 2013 7:22 PM   Subscribe

The 2013 Man Booker International Prize went to Lydia Davis, best known as a short story writer—some just a single sentence long—but also a novelist and translator. There is a wealth of material by and about her online, and here are few favorites: Video of Davis reading some very short stories, PennSound MP3 collection of readings, talks and interviews, writer James Salter reads and discusses Davis' story Break It Down, interview by Francine Prose, Frieze Talks reading and interview, video of reading followed by Q&A, "A Position at the University" and a a discussion about the story, and finally, a number of links to her short stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [Lydia Davis previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus (16 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
I don't want any more gifts, cards, phone calls, prizes, clothes, friends, letters, books, souvenirs, pets, magazines, land, machines, houses, entertainments, honors, good news, dinners, jewels, vacations, flowers, or telegrams. I just want money.
- The story "Money" by Lydia Davis, in its entirety.
posted by gwint at 7:31 PM on May 29, 2013 [9 favorites]

I have probably mentioned this a thousand times but I love Lydia Davis perhaps more than any other contemporary writer. Her story "The Mouse" (in Google Books) is up there with Barthelme's The Balloon in my list of favorite short stories of all time.

Also she was married to Paul Auster at one point and that is my dream Thanksgiving dinner to drop in on.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:37 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

Awesome! I read her Collected Stories a few months ago. The short-short pieces were often good, but I especially liked "The Walk," which has a lot of specific detail and a really good satirical portrayal of a bad critic. One passage of Proust is translated twice and is interesting both times.

"Helen and Vi: A Study in Health and Vitality," on the other hand, was fucking interminable.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:38 PM on May 29, 2013

I had the idle thought to make a Davis post to celebrate the prize, but frankly I'm glad I waited because this one is good.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:08 PM on May 29, 2013

Neat! Lydia Davis is great.
posted by painquale at 8:23 PM on May 29, 2013

Apparently I'm in the minority of folks here who haven't heard of her (or at least remembered hearing of her). I'm glad I have now!
posted by nutate at 8:30 PM on May 29, 2013

The Believer had a great interview with Davis recently, too.
posted by RogerB at 8:35 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Apparently I'm in the minority of folks here

me too...
posted by snaparapans at 8:36 PM on May 29, 2013

Oh god, I love Lydia Davis so much. I have a copy of her collected stories I read every year in the summer. It only takes an afternoon, but I'm always shaken and kinda in awe.
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 PM on May 29, 2013

I was going to buy her Collected Stories when it came out but it turned out I already had all the books it was Collecting.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:07 PM on May 29, 2013

I, also, love Lydia Davis. I read the hell out of her work at a certain point in my life. The same point when I was also reading Joy Williams and Deborah Eisenberg and a few other excellent short story writers. I should maybe buy more of her books now.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:09 PM on May 29, 2013

I love her Proust translation but her stories do nothing for me.
posted by shivohum at 10:13 PM on May 29, 2013

I'm sure Davis is lovely but I'm miffed nonetheless on behalf of Hilary Mantel. She would get all the awards if it were up tome.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:33 AM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

I very much enjoyed the story The Mouse posted above. Buying the book to share with my wife-
posted by newdaddy at 3:39 AM on May 30, 2013

I haven't kept up with Davis, but I liked her first collection of stories a lot. (Though the name if the book escapes me and it's too early to start Googling.) I don't keep up with prizes either, but I imagine she deserves it.
posted by nowhere man at 4:42 AM on May 30, 2013

Her short stories are powerful and stay with you long past their reading. Definitely worth picking up. She is worthy of the praise and the award bestowed upon her. Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 5:51 AM on May 30, 2013

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