Can't and Won't

Can't and Won't

By (author)


You save US$3.99

Free delivery worldwide

Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days

When will my order arrive?

A new collection of short stories from the woman Rick Moody has called "the best prose stylist in America" Her stories may be literal one-liners: the entirety of "Bloomington" reads, "Now that I have been here for a little while, I can say with confidence that I have never been here before." Or they may be lengthier investigations of the havoc wreaked by the most mundane disruptions to routine: in "A Small Story About a Small Box of Chocolates," a professor receives a gift of thirty-two small chocolates and is paralyzed by the multitude of options she imagines for their consumption. The storiesmay appear in the form of letters of complaint; they may be extractedfrom Flaubert's correspondence; or they may be inspired by the author's own dreams, or the dreams of friends. What does not vary throughout "Can't and Won't," Lydia Davis's fifth collection of stories, is the power of her finely honed prose. Davis is sharply observant; she is wry or witty or poignant. Above all, she is refreshing. Davis writes with bracing candor and slyhumor about the quotidian, revealing the mysterious, the foreign, the alienating, and the pleasurable within the predictable patternsof daily life.

show more
  • Hardback | 289 pages
  • 144 x 210 x 30mm | 419.99g
  • Farrar Straus Giroux
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • 0374118582
  • 9780374118587
  • 209,927

Other books in Short Stories

Other people who viewed this bought:

Review quote

Praise for "Can't and Won't" "Davis . . . continues to hone her subtle and distinctive brand of storytelling. These poems, vignettes, thoughts, observations, and stories defy clear categorization; each one is an independent whole, but read together they strike a fine rhythm. Davis circles the same central point in each entry: her character examine the world with a detached, self-contained logic that seems to represent the process of writing itself . . . Davis's bulletproof prose sends each story shooting off the page." --"Publishers Weekly""The title story in Davis's latest collection of nimble and caustic stories, a wry tale about why a writer is denied a prize, is two sentences in length, but, as always with this master of distillation, it conveys volumes. In the wake of The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (2009) and receiving the Man Booker International Prize, Davis presents delectably intriguing and affecting new works shaped by her devotion to language, vigilant observations, literary erudition, and tart humor. A number of strikingly enigmatic stories carry the tag 'dream, ' and they are, in fact, based on dreams dreamed by her Davis and her family and friends. Thirteen intricately layered and thorny pieces flagged as 'stories from Flaubert' improvise saucily and revealingly on the seminal writer's letters. Elsewhere, Davis tosses together the trivial and the profound in hilarious and plangent tales about painful memories and epic indecision, deftly capturing the mind's perpetual churning and the terrible arbitrariness of life. Then, amid all this fretfulness and angst, a narrator devotes herself to watching three serene cows in a neighboring field. Davis is resplendent." --Donna Seaman, "Booklist""[Lydia Davis] continues to push the boundaries of narrative. ["Can't and Won't"] is a remarkable, exhilarating beast: a collection that resumes the author's overall style--short narratives, with the occasional longer piece--while simultaneously expandinge

show more

About Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and four previousstory collections, the most recent of which, "Varieties of Disturbance," was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is alsothe acclaimed translator of "Swann's Way "(2003)and "Madame Bovary "(2010), both of which were awarded the French American Foundation Translation Prize. "The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis," published in 2009, 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.

show more

Reviews from