"Like all of Davis' collections, Varieties of Disturbance is well structured, with longer stories broken up by short ones and recurring images spaced to allow reader the pleasure of gathering them up . . . Davis offer a shimmering, apt tribute to Franz Kafka in 'Kafka Cooks Dinner' . . . With each story, it is as though Davis is logically working through the process of grief—and Varieties of Disturbance is her epiphany."—Katherine Hill, San Francisco Chronicle
"This kind of writing—elliptical, clear-eyed, harboring concealed emotions—has been flooring readers since Davis's first major collection, Break It Down."—Michael Miller, The Believer
Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections, including Varieties of Disturbance, which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. Winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, she is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and her translations of modern writers including Maurice Blanchot, Michel Leiris, and Marcel Proust.
A Man from Her Past
Ithink Mother is flirting with a man from her past who is not Father. I say to myself: Mother ought not to have improper relations with this man "Franz"! "Franz" is a European. I say she should not see this man improperly while Father is away! But I am confusing an old reality with a new reality: Father will not be returning home. He will be staying on at Vernon Hall. As for Mother, she is ninety-four years old.