Lydia Davis first Steven Fisher Writer-in-Residence at Penn State

February 16, 2009

University Park, Pa. — Acclaimed fiction writer Lydia Davis will serve as the inaugural Steven Fisher Writer-in-Residence at Penn State’s University Park campus from March 3-6, 2009. Davis will give a public reading at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5 in the Foster Auditorium of the Pattee Library on the University Park campus. This event is free and open to the public. During her visit to Penn State, Davis will also visit undergraduate and graduate creative writing classes, and meet with students to discuss their work. 

Lydia Davis is the author of four collections of short fiction, including "Varieties of Disturbance," a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award, "Break It Down," "Samuel Johnson Is Indignant," and a novel, "The End of the Story." Her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories (edited by Annie Proulx) and The Best American Poetry, and has been published in literary journals ranging from The New Yorker and Harper's to Conjunctions and McSweeny’s. Her work has been translated into six languages.

Davis is also the translator of numerous avant-garde French novels, memoirs and volumes of literary criticism, including works by Maurice Blanchot, Michel Leiris, and, most recently, "Swann's Way" by Marcel Proust, which received the French-American Foundation Annual Translation Prize. Among her other awards and honors, Davis was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and translation, and in 2003 received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. In granting the award, the MacArthur Foundation praised Davis' work for showing "how language itself can entertain, how all that one word says, and leaves unsaid, can hold a reader's interest...Davis grants readers a glimpse of life's previously invisible details, revealing new sources of philosophical insights and beauty."

She is currently working on a new translation of Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" for Viking Penguin. She lives in upstate New York, where she is on the faculty of SUNY Albany and a fellow of the New York State Writers Institute.

This reading is sponsored by Steven Fisher, the Department of English and the College of the Liberal Arts. For more information, please contact Sheila Squillante, Associate Director, MFA Program at

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Last Updated January 09, 2015