A man I met in a bar, who was in fact a novelist, asked me if I liked Lydia Davis’s stories. I said yes. This was not enough: he asked me if I preferred her early or her later collections. I said ‘early’. He made it clear that this was the correct answer. And so he was able to continue his conversation with me. I have more usually gone for ‘poets’: they are worse.
From The Middle Stories, McSweeney’s, 2012. Available to read online here