Short stories by Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis is an American writer known for her innovative and concise short stories who was born in 1947. She is known for her mastery of the short form, often experimenting with language and narrative structure. Davis has won numerous awards for her work, including the Man Booker International Prize in 2013 and the MacArthur Fellowship. Additionally, she is highly regarded as a translator, particularly of French literature, for her fidelity to the original text and their attention to nuance and detail.

Listing 36 stories.

A woman considers her possible shortcomings when her boyfriend tells her that he doesn’t like some things about her. After a period of reflection, she acknowledges the futility of self-deprecation.

A man tries to determine the cost of a passionate but brief love affair, and his calculations lead him to a solemn but hopeful realization.

A city employs people to act strangely to order to make others feel normal.

An initially unwanted infestation fosters understanding between a woman and the cockroaches in her house.

As a young Japanese man reflects on significant moments in his life, a stunning musical encounter leads him on the path to self-acceptance.

A paranoid old woman makes a disturbing discovery that intensifies her fears about being the victim of a crime.

A depressed woman searches for a new apartment in her city. As she prepares to move, lethargy threatens to inundate her.

An innocent introductory French course called la Muerte teaches vocabulary, by describing a typical farm until the farmer disappears.

A poet attempts to sleep comfortably at a friend’s house without disturbing his hosts.

As they hide from an enemy in their house, a woman and man argue about the nature of the enemy--whether it is human or weather-related.