Almost No Memory
  • Almost No Memory
  • Almost No Memory

Almost No Memory

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by Lydia Davis
     
 

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Philosophical inquiry, examinations of language, and involuted domestic disputes are the focus of Lydia Davis's inventive collection of short fiction, Almost No Memory. In each of these stories, Davis reveals an empathic, sometimes shattering understanding of human relationships.

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Overview

Philosophical inquiry, examinations of language, and involuted domestic disputes are the focus of Lydia Davis's inventive collection of short fiction, Almost No Memory. In each of these stories, Davis reveals an empathic, sometimes shattering understanding of human relationships.

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times Benjamin Weissman
Lydia Davis is one of the quiet giants in the world of American fiction.
The New York Times Book Reveiw Liam Callanan
Frequently poetic and, without question, memorable.
Library Journal
The 51 pastiches in this collection are more experimental than Davis's previous novel, The End of the Story, and short story collection, Break It Down. Ranging in length from a single, six-line sentence ('The Outing') to 29 pages ('Lord Royston's Tour'), the selections explore intense feelings in a variety of situations. Frequently using parallel construction, the pieces reveal how someone facing a minor domestic dispute could contort a conversation into an irredeemable confrontation or could behave unnecessarily obsessively. The emotion is very well conveyed and the use of language apt. Occasionally grotesque, the vignettes will appeal to the sophisticated reader, but the lack of closure may frustrate the more traditional. -- Ann Irvine, Montgomery County Public Library, Silver Spring, Maryland
Kirkus Reviews
Soberly eclectic doesn't begin to describe this new assortment of 51 short (often very short) stories from Davis, whose first collection, Break it Down (1986), and novel, The End of the Story (1995), have both received much favorable notice. These disparate tales of quiet desperation range from a long 18th-century travel narrative through the vastness of Russia to views of stultifying small-town life, from a rumination on Glenn Gould to a terse description of marriage as an endless round of bruised feelings and displays of pettiness 'Lord Royston's Tour' chronicles the hardships of a diffident traveler as he encounters one difficulty after another on a journey from the Arctic Circle to Asian deserts, surviving many close calls only to perish at sea on his way home. 'Mr. Knockly' details the pursuit of a strange man by the equally odd narrator, who seeks the reason for the man's despair at her aunt's funeral but never gets the answer: She loses interest, and he is murdered. Other stories also deal with death, including one about a dog that served as part of a house-sitting arrangement ('St. Martin') and another about a woman stabbed by a neighbor as she takes out her trash ('The House Behind"). But the slow torture of a dying relationship is the theme that Davis returns to most frequently, and in such swift, poignant tales as 'Agreement,' 'Our Kindness,' 'The Outing,' and '`How He Is Often Right,' a much larger, yet infinitely more intimate, tragedy involving the loss of love takes shape. With tightly circular and traditionally linear narratives well represented, Atkinson offers a stylistic as well as thematic mix. Meanwhile, strong writing and a somber mood combine tomake this a probing, quietly compelling series of meditations in story form.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312420550
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Edition description:
First Picador Edition
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
726,911
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.47(d)

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