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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Samuel Johnson Is Indignant

Samuel Johnson Is Indignant


Lydia Davis



From one of our most imaginative and inventive writers, a crystalline collection of perfectly modulated, sometimes harrowing and often hilarious investigations into the multifaceted ways in which human beings perceive each other and themselves. A couple suspects their friends think them boring; a woman resolves to see herself as nothing but then concludes she's set too high a goal; and a funeral home receives a letter rebuking it for linguistic errors. Lydia Davis once again proves in the words of the Los Angeles Times "one of the quiet giants in the world of American fiction."

We know only four boring people. The rest of our friends we find very interesting. However, most of the friends we find interesting find us boring: the most interesting find us the most...

Praise for Samuel Johnson Is Indignant

"Highly intelligent, wildly entertaining stories, bound by visionary, philosophical, comic prose—part Gertrude Stein, part Simone Weil, and pure Lydia Davis."—Elle

"Davis should be counted among the true originals of contemporary American short fiction."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Davis deploys her gift for verbal bemusement, annoyance, and high anxiety...[and] converts her characters' complex ruminations into narratives full of insight and pleasure."—The Village Voice

"Her stories are intellectual and playful, and rigorous as brainteasers."—Bookforum

"If you're smart, chances are good you'll read the stories in Lydia Davis's Samuel Johnson is Indignant."—Vanity Fair

"Lydia Davis is the kind of writer that makes you say, 'Oh, at last.' "—Grace Paley

"Precise and quietly unsettling...There is a precision of language and of feeling that is uniquely moving and uniquely her own."—Detroit Free Press

"Introspective and subversive, ironic and playful, obsessive and funny, Davis's stories reveal the ratcheting of the imagination and the ineffable movement of the mind over the varied textures of daily life."—Salon

"Superb...One celebrates a writer like Davis for her intelligent interpreting of the world and her risky bid to reveal the brilliant machinations of her own uniquely gifted mind."—Elle


Reviews from Goodreads

Lydia Davis

LYDIA DAVIS is the author of one novel and five story collections, including Varieties of Disturbance, a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award and most recently, Can’t and Won’t. She is also the acclaimed translator of Swann’s Way and Madame Bovary, both of which were awarded the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis 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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Lydia Davis


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