Can't and Won't

Stories by Lydia Davis

  • Published: Aug 20, 2020

A new collection of short stories from the woman Rick Moody has called "the best prose stylist in America" Her stories may be literal one-liners the entirety of "Bloomington" reads, "Now that I have been here for a little while, I... read more

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Details of Can't and Won't

Exact title of the book
Can't and Won't
Book author
Lydia Davis
ISBN
9780374711436
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Apr 08, 2014
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
304
File size (in PDF)
2736 kB

Some brief overview of book

A new collection of short stories from the woman Rick Moody has called "the best prose stylist in America" Her stories may be literal one-liners the entirety of "Bloomington" reads, "Now that I have been here for a little while, I can say with confidence that I have never been here before." Or they may be lengthier investigations of the havoc wreaked by the most mundane disruptions to routine in "A Small Story About a Small Box of Chocolates," a professor receives a gift of thirty-two small chocolates and is paralyzed by the multitude of options she imagines for their consumption. The stories may appear in the form of letters of complaint; they may be extracted from Flaubert's correspondence; or they may be inspired by the author's own dreams, or the dreams of friends. What does not vary throughout Can't and Won't, Lydia Davis's fifth collection of stories, is the power of her finely honed prose.

Davis is sharply observant; she is wry or witty or poignant. Above all, she is refreshing. Davis writes with bracing candor and sly humor about the quotidian, revealing the mysterious, the foreign, the alienating, and the pleasurable within the predictable patterns of daily life.

About author

Davis is the author of one novel and four previous story collections, the most recent of which, Varieties of Disturbance, was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is also the acclaimed translator of Swann's Way (2003) and Madame Bovary (2010), both of which were awarded the French American Foundation Translation Prize. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, published in 2009, 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.

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