Books: Samuel Johnson Is Indignant

By Lydia Davis

Some of Lydia Davis' stories are shorter than this review, but they are funnier, smarter, and will prove more memorable. In deadpan prose, Davis turns philosophical snippets into fiction, with moving results. It is rare for a writer to challenge the tradition of storytelling and still be a pleasure to read. Davis' stories are as clear as children's books and somehow inevitable, as if she has written down what we were all on the verge of thinking ourselves.

--By Ben Marcus

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