Lydia Davis with Ben Marcus, Conversation, 16 May 2012 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on May 16, 2012.

Lydia Davis has been called “an American virtuoso of the short story form” ( and “one of the quiet giants of American fiction” (Los Angeles Times Book Review). She has published seven collections including Sketches for a Life of Wassily (1981), Almost No Memory (2001), Samuel Johnson is Indignant (2002), Varieties of Disturbance (2007), and The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (2009), as well as a novel, End of the Story. She was born in 1947 and after graduating from Barnard worked as a translator before turning to fiction. Ms. Davis is a celebrated translator of French literature including works by Jean-Paul Sartre, Flaubert, and Maurice Blanchot, as well as biographies of Marie Curie and Alexis de Tocqueville, with her most recent translation being a much-lauded Madam Bovary (2010).

Ms. Davis’ honors include being a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award for Varieties of Disturbances, a Whiting Award, a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, and in 2005 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and translations. She lives in upstate New York.

In this episode she is joined in conversation with Ben Marcus. The companion Reading episode may be found here.

Additional photos of this event are available on Flickr.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to audio recordings of this event there.