Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lydia Davis profiled in this week's New Yorker

Lydia Davis, NYS Writers Institute Writing Fellow, is profiled in the March 17th issue of the New Yorker.

"Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant."

More in the New Yorker:

Davis (who poses frequently with cats) speaks on Wednesday, April 16 at Rensselaer (RPI):

Lydia Davis, short story author and translator
April 16 (Wednesday)
Reading and McKinney Writing Contest Award Ceremony — 8:00 p.m., Biotech Auditorium, Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer (RPI), Troy

Lydia Davis, winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, will read from her newest story collection, Can’t and Won’t (2014). Masterpieces in miniature, the stories feature complaint letters, reflections on dreams, and small dilemmas. Davis has been called “one of the quiet giants of American fiction” (Los Angeles Times Book Review), and “one of the best writers in America” (Oprah’s O Magazine). Her previous collections include The Collected Stories (2009), Varieties of Disturbance (2007), Samuel Johnson is Indignant (2001), Almost No Memory (1997) and Break it Down (1986).

Sponsored in conjunction with RPI’s Vollmer W. Fries Lecture and the 73rd McKinney Writing Contest and Reading
For directions see: