Criticism: Major Short-Short Fiction Writers - Essay

Thom Palmer (essay date summer 1989)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Palmer, Thom. “The Asymmetrical Garden.” Southwest Review 74, no. 3 (summer 1989): 390-402.

[In the following essay, Palmer emphasizes the importance of Kawabata's “palm-of-the-hand” short stories to his fictional oeuvre.]

In 1968, Yasunari Kawabata became the first Japanese writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Concerning this unprecedented citation, Professor Donald Keene, in his gargantuan work of scholarship, Dawn To The West (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1984), writes: “The Japanese public was naturally delighted to learn of the award, though surprise was expressed that a writer who was difficult to understand even for Japanese...

(The entire section is 4616 words.)

Lydia Davis with Christopher J. Knight (interview date winter 1999)

(Short Story Criticism)

SOURCE: Davis, Lydia, with Christopher J. Knight. “An Interview with Lydia Davis.” Contemporary Literature 40, no. 4 (winter 1999): 525-51.

[In the following interview, Davis discusses major influences on her work, stylistic aspects of her fiction, and the major thematic concerns of her stories and novels.]

Lydia Davis was born in 1947, in Northampton, Massachusetts, where her late father, Robert Gorham Davis, was a professor of English at Smith College. Her mother, Hope Hale Davis, remains active as both a teacher and a writer. In 1957, Davis moved with her family to New York City, where her father assumed an appointment at Columbia University. Before beginning...

(The entire section is 11163 words.)