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The Cows (Quarternote Chapbook Series) Paperback – March 29, 2011

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The Cows (Quarternote Chapbook Series) + The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis + Can't and Won't: Stories
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“By the end of the chapbook (it’s only 37 pages) the three cows have become five, echoing the cycles that occupy the center of this impressionistic work. It’s the most simple stuff, but by slowing down to take a look, day in and day out, Davis reminds us of the profundity of everything—even creatures who “do not know the words ‘person,’ ‘neighbor,’ ‘watch,’ or even ‘cow.’”
—David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“She has translated Proust and Flaubert and published a 752-page short-story collection, but in this smaller project, Davis observes the movements of three cows that live across the road. Her pitch-perfect ear, eye for detail and the classical quietude of her prose allow us to see these creatures in a new light.”
—Moe’s Books, San Francisco Chronicle

"This is Davis at her most playful, though, again, calmly and patiently. . . . Cows have their own apparel of momentary permanence, and capturing it is the ultimate exercise of Lydia Davis’s prose. Zeroed in, that everything about the cows seems inevitable and eternal."
—David Bartone, The Rumpus

"Davis' lovely chapbook is an exercise in simplicity."
—Vikas Turakhia, Cleveland Plain Dealer

About the Author

Lydia Davis: Lydia Davis, a 2003 MacArthur Fellow, is the author, most recently, of Collected Stories (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009). She is also the latest translator of Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust (Viking Penguin, 2002), and the forthcoming Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (Viking Penguin, 2010). She lives in rural upstate New York, across the road from the cows she has studied with such attention, and teaches at SUNY Albany.



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Product Details

  • Series: Quarternote Chapbook Series
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sarabande Books; 1st edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932511938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932511932
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections, the most recent of which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is the acclaimed translator of a new edition of Swann's Way and is at work on a new translation of Madame Bovary.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joey Comeau on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a series of very short observations of the cows that live across the street from the author. It is spare and often quite beautiful, though just as often uninteresting. It is very similar to the cockroaches story in one of her collections. I found myself wishing for the cockroach piece to have a similar presentation!

So unlike any other book I own. Strange little books like this are such a treat to find.
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By e s r on April 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book. Quietly we see a small herd of cows spend their days and be, simply, cows. The writing is sweet and observant and we are there, participating in the small graces of nature.
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By Kendra B on June 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quirky. Eclectic. Here is Davis on her day off. Watching the cows across the way. If you are familiar with Lydia Davis you know her intellectual commitment to her writing. This short chap book doesn't disappoint, but it is Davis in her down time, gazing and grazing on the bovine horizon. A Sunday drive in the country.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Economically written, sharply observed, in Lydia Davis's own inimitable style. There are real treasures here. I have lived close to cows, and I have been observing them my whole life and Lydia Davis noticed things I missed.
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