‘In a town of twelve women there was a thirteenth. No one admitted she lived there, no mail came for her, no one spoke of her, no one asked after her, no one sold bread to her, no one bought anything from her, no one returned her glance, no one knocked on her door; the rain did not fall on her, the sun never shone on her, the day never dawned on her, the night never fell for her; for her the weeks did not pass, the years did not roll by; her house was unnumbered, her garden untended, her path not trod upon, her bed not slept in, her food not eaten, her clothes not worn; and yet in spite of all this she continued to live in the town without resenting what it did to her.’

– Lydia Davis, The Thirteenth Woman

‘In those days I saw only the dark side of everything. I hated rich people and I was disgusted by the poor. The noise of children playing irritated me and the silence of old people made me uneasy. Hating the world, I longed for the protection of money, but I had no money. All around me women shrieked. I dreamed of some peaceful asylum in the country.’

– Lydia Davies, Therapy

                  ‘I have learned what art really is

Art is not in some far-off place.’

– Lydia Davis, Extracts from a Life

‘Once, in the rain, a van turned a corner suddenly at her and she stumbled over her boots into a ditch and then she saw herself clearly: a woman in early middle age wearing rubber boots walking in the dark looking for a white car and now falling into a ditch, prepared to go on walking and to be satisfied with the sight of the man’s car in a parking lot even if the man was somewhere else and with another woman.’

– Lydia Davis, The Letter