Books

The End of the Story

Lydia Davis

The first and only novel by Lydia Davis, winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2013.

'It surprised me, over and over, to find that I was with such a young man. He was twenty-two when I met him. He turned twenty-three while I knew him, but by the time I turned thirty-five I did not know where he was anymore.'

Mislabelled boxes, confusing notes, wrong turnings - such are the obstacles in the way of the unnamed narrator of The End of the Story as she organises her memories of a love affair into a novel. With compassion, wit and what seems to be candour, she seeks to determine what she actually knows about herself and her past, but we begin to suspect, along with her, that given the elusiveness of memory and understanding, any tale retrieved from the past must be fiction

Back in print at last, this is Lydia Davis's first - and so far only - novel.

'Extraordinary' Newsday

'Brilliant' New Yorker

'Breathtakingly elegant' Details

'Beautifully written' Marie Claire

'Astonishing' Elle

Lydia Davis is the author of Collected Stories, one novel and six short story collections, most recently Can't and Won't. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and was named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and her translations of modern writers, including Gustave Flaubert and Marcel Proust. She won the Man Booker International Prize in 2013.

Can't and Won't

Lydia Davis

Can't and Won't is the new collection from Lydia Davis, one of the greatest short story writers alive.

WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2013

Lydia Davis has been universally acclaimed for the wit, insight and genre-defying formal inventiveness of her sparkling stories.

With titles like 'A Story of Stolen Salamis', 'Letters to a Frozen Pea Manufacturer', 'A Small Story About a Small Box of Chocolates', and 'Can't and Won't', the stories in this new collection illuminate particular moments in ordinary lives and find in them the humorous, the ironic and the surprising.

Above all the stories revel in and grapple with the joys and constraints of language - achieving always the extraordinary, unmatched precision which makes Lydia Davis one of the greatest contemporary writers on the international stage.

Praise for Lydia Davis:

'What stories. Precise and piercing, extremely funny. Nearly all are unlike anything you've ever read' Metro

'To read The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis is to be reminded of the grand, echoing mind-chambers created by Sebald or recent Coetzee. A writer of vast intelligence and originality' Independent on Sunday

'Among my most favourite writers. Read her now!' A. M. Homes

Lydia Davis is the author of Collected Stories, one novel and six short story collections, the most recent of which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and was named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and her translations of modern writers, including Gustave Flaubert and Marcel Proust. She won the Man Booker International Prize in 2013.

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis is the complete collection of short fiction from the world-renowned Lydia Davis.

WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2013.

'Big rejoicing: Lydia Davis has won the Man Booker International prize. Never did a book award deliver such a true match-winning punch. Best of all, a new audience will read her now and find her wit, her vigour and rigour, her funniness, her thoughtfulness, and the precision of form, which mark Davis out as unique.

Daring, excitingly intelligent and often wildly comic [she] reminds you, in a world that likes to bandy its words about, what words such as economy, precision and originality really mean. This is a writer as mighty as Kafka, as subtle as Flaubert and as epoch-making, in her own way, as Proust.

A two-liner from Davis, or a seemingly throwaway paragraph, will haunt. What looks like a game will open to deep seriousness; what looks like philosophy will reveal playfulness, tragicomedy, ordinariness; what looks like ordinariness will ask you to look again at Davis's writing. In its acuteness, it always asks attentiveness, and it repays this by opening up to its reader like possibility, or like a bush covered in flowerheads.

She's a joy. There's no writer quite like her' Ali Smith

'What stories. Precise and piercing, extremely funny. Nearly all are unlike anything you've ever read' Metro

'I loved these stories. They are so well-written, with such clarity of thought and precision of language. Excellent' William Leith, Evening Standard

'Remarkable. Some of the most moving fiction - on death, marriage, children - of recent years. To read Collected Stories is to be reminded of the grand, echoing mind-chambers created by Sebald or recent Coetzee. A writer of vast intelligence and originality' Independent on Sunday

'A body of work probably unique in American writing, in its combination of lucidity, aphoristic brevity, formal originality, sly comedy, metaphysical bleakness, philosophical pressure and human wisdom' New Yorker

'Davis is a high priestess of the startling, telling detail. She can make the most ordinary things, such as couples talking, or someone watching television, bizarre, almost mythical. I felt I had encountered a most original and daring mind' Colm Toibin, Daily Telegraph

Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections, the most recent of which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is 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.

Madame Bovary (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Gustave Flaubert (and others)

A major new translation of one of the most popular classics of all time, now in a gorgeous deluxe edition.

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert's erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: 'Madame Bovary, c'est moi'.

In Search of Lost Time

Marcel Proust (and others)

One of the greatest, most entertaining reading experiences in any language, Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time Vol. 1: The Way by Swann's is published in a new translation from the French by Lydia Davis in Penguin Classics.

The Way by Swann's is one of the great novels of childhood, depicting the impressions of a sensitive boy of his family and neighbours, brought dazzlingly back to life by the famous taste of a madeleine. It contains the separate short novel, A Love of Swann's, a study of sexual jealousy that forms a crucial part of the vast, unfolding structure of In Search of Lost Time. This book established Proust as one of the greatest voices of the modern age - satirical, sceptical, confiding and endlessly varied in his responses to the human condition.

Since the original pre-war translation Remembrance of Things Past by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, there has been no completely new rendering of Proust's French original into English. This translation brings to the fore a more sharply engaged, comic and lucid Proust. As the great story unfolds from its magical opening scenes to its devastating end, it is this Penguin Classics edition of In Search of Lost Time that makes Proust accessible to a new generation.

Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is generally viewed as the greatest French novelist and perhaps the greatest European novelist of the 20th century. He lived much of his later life as a reclusive semi-invalid in a sound-proofed flat in Paris, giving himself over entirely to writing his masterpiece In Search of Lost Time (À la recherche du temps perdu).

If you enjoyed In Search Of Lost Time, you might like James Joyce's Ulysses, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'The latest Penguin Proust is a triumph, and will bring this inexhaustible artwork to new audiences throughout the English-speaking world'
Sunday Telegraph

Biography

Lydia Davis is the author of Collected Stories, one novel and six short story collections, the most recent of which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is 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 Gustave Flaubert and Marcel Proust. She won the Man Booker International Prize in 2013.