Lydia Davis’s new collection, Our Strangers: coming in October, but only through bookshops and indie online retailers

19 April 2023

In October we will publish the indispensable Lydia Davis’s new collection, Our Strangers. It will be sold only at physical bookshops, and independent online retailers.

Read about it in the Guardian: ‘Lydia Davis refuses to sell her next book on Amazon’.

Davis – who is a winner of the Man Booker International and is one of the great short story writers working today – is deeply concerned about monopolistic bookselling, and hopes this decision will act both as a gesture of solidarity to independent booksellers, and ignite a conversation about the vital importance of a diverse publishing ecosystem.

Lydia Davis is a virtuoso at detecting the seemingly casual, inconsequential frictions of daily life and pinning them for inspection. In Our Strangers, her seventh collection of fiction, conversations are overheard and misheard, a special delivery letter is mistaken for a rare white butterfly, toddlers learning to speak identify a ping-pong ball as an egg, and mumbled remarks betray a marriage. In the glow of Davis’s keen noticing, strangers can become like family and family like strangers. Our Strangers is a fascinating collection that confirms the genius of a writer whose every attention is transformative.

The book will be published on 5 October 2023, just in time for Bookshop Day on 14 October.

‘A writer as mighty as Kafka, as subtle as Flaubert and as epoch-making, in her own way, as Proust … She's a joy. There's no writer quite like her’ Ali Smith

‘Davis is a high priestess of the startling, telling detail… a most original and daring mind’ Colm Tóibín

‘Davis is a magician of self-consciousness. Few writers now working make the words on the page matter more’ Jonathan Franzen

‘A trailblazer in the world of short-form prose’ New Yorker