Dan Chiasson, writing in the New York Review of Books on The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis: “The stories can seem like impersonal, even cruel personals ads, as though their author were paying for space by the word…. It is possible to regard Davis’s interest in human beings as more forensic than empathic, as though she were running a clinical trial. But I think the days of regarding her this way are now over, with the publication of this magnificent volume. Joyce called his Dubliners style a ‘scrupulous meanness’: Davis is the heir to that style, and to another, earlier heir to it, Samuel Beckett. But this is one bright and comprehensive book of life, a kind of handbook of human paradox.”