Lydia penned shortest-ever stories
London (Agencies): American short story writer Lydia Davis was declared the winner of the fifth Man Booker International Prize at a ceremony held at...
London (Agencies): American short story writer Lydia Davis was declared the winner of the fifth Man Booker International Prize at a ceremony held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.A Her inventive, carefully-crafted and hard to categorise works saw off the challenge from nine other contenders from around the world, a press release said on Wednesday evening.
India's U R Ananthamurthy was also one of the contenders for the prestigious prize. The others in the fray were Aharon Appelfeld (Israel), Intizar Husain (Pakistan), Yan Lianke (China), Marie NDiaye (France), Josip Novakovich (Canada), Marilynne Robinson (US), Vladimir Sorokin (Russia) and Peter Stamm (Switzerland).
The influential American writer accepted the A� 60,000 honour, which is presented every two years to a living, non-UK author for a body of work published in English, at a ceremony held at the Victoria and Albert Museum inLondon.A The Massachusetts-born Davis is best known for her short stories, a number of them among the shortest ever published. She has been described as 'the master of a literary form largely of her own invention'.
Her work, closer to essayist poems and philosophical monologues than conventional short stories, includes the story collections Break It Down (1986), Samuel Johnson Is Indignant(2002) and Varieties of Disturbance (2007).
Typically her stories run for between three and four pages. But many are as brief as a paragraph, or a sentence. The New Yorker praised her lucidity, aphoristic brevity, formal originality, sly comedy, metaphysical bleakness, philosophical pressure, and human wisdom.
Currently professor of creative writing at the University at Albany, the capital of New York State, Davis is due to publish her next collection of short stories, Can't and Won't, in June 2014.A Davis is also well known for her work as a translator of French literature and philosophy. Booker judge Professor Sir Christopher Ricks said, "Lydia Davis' writings fling their lithe arms wide to embrace many a kind.
Just how to categorise them? Should we simply concur with the official title and dub them stories or perhaps miniatures or anecdotes or essays or jokes or parables or fables or texts or perhaps wisdom literature or might we settle for observations."