The Art of the Short Story

Lydia Davis short stories reviewed

Lydia Davis is a writer with whom I have only recently become acquainted.  The few pieces I've scanned I've found interesting and intriguing.  But I suspect that nearly single-handedly she has forged a revolution in what can be considered a short story and a short-short story.  I noticed that Sam Shepherd's latest book of short story seems to follow closely in Lydia Davis's tracks.  And there is a delightful little ditty out called Sum: Forty Tales of Afterlives by David Eagleman that seem to take cues from some of the innovations and stylistic tendencies of Ms. Davis.


  1. Expect even more followers given our short attention span these days?

  2. Dear TS,

    Indeed, it is possible. But a trend like this is one that is only sustained by magnificent talent. True, there may be a few who join the ranks--but the short story is difficult enough territory--only slightly easier than the poem--and so such concision? Well, let us consider the wisdom of Pascal--"Had I more time I would have written a shorter [story]."

    So, there may be followers, but I don't know that we'll ever end up with a vast literature of the very short--it's possible--but as I said, it's a rare talent that can sustain it and make it enjoyable to others.




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