Tag Archives: lydia davis

Can’t and Won’t: Stories by Lydia Davis

Can't and Won't by Lydia Davis Title: Can’t and Won’t: Stories
Author: Lydia Davis
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 978-0374118587
Genre: Short Stories
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

When Lydia Davis writes short stories, you take notice. You observe them and linger in their bitter or sweet after-thought. You also get confused. You wonder what her stories are about. As a reader, you also want to give up some times. You do not want to turn the next page. That is what you feel like and you cannot help it. You keep the book aside and after some time you get back to the book and then it hits on you, what you have been missing out on. And then the true beauty of her writing hits you.

Lydia Davis’s new collection of stories, “Can’t and Won’t” is a fantastic collection of vignettes, of short stories and of really long stories. At some point, I did not have it in me to soldier on, and yet I did. I think most of it also had to do with the fact that I had read Davis’s stories earlier. So my recommendation would be that to read some of her works online and then you will absolutely love what she writes and the way she expresses herself.

“Can’t and Won’t” is a collection that makes you ponder, makes you doubt, leaves you confused, perplexed and at the same time wrenches your heart with the most basic observations about life and living. Most of these stories are either retellings of her dreams, or related to Flaubert’s life (which are brilliantly reconstructed) or tales that are about painful memories and indecision and wanting to deal with life.

The stories are sometimes complex, sometimes simple and sometimes just make you want to drop everything else and think about life. “Can’t and Won’t” is expansive. It is a collection that challenges you, delivered in well prose and above all conjures a sense of wonder and delight, with every turn of the page.

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387 Short Stories: Day 21: Story 21: The Good Taste Contest by Lydia Davis

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Title: The Good Taste Contest
Author: Lydia Davis
Taken from the Collection: The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis cannot go wrong with a short story. She is the supreme short story teller, after Munro of course. She knows what she writes and she is the queen of brevity and as a reader, you do not feel any less empowered if you read a story which is very short or long, as long as the writing is in place, which she guarantees.

Davis’s stories are all about the details. Everything has to be mentioned and brought to fore. Nothing is left hanging or unsaid. Her stories are almost like the crisp linen sheet, waiting to be sunk into and then you do not want to ruin it either. “The Good Taste Contest” is one such story, about a husband and a wife, whose names are not necessary and how each has his and her own good taste points and what transpires at the end of it all.

To me, she is beyond brilliant and I had to read one of her stories before the year ended. Thank God, I did.