Book Review: Varieties of Disturbance


My thoughts on the book Varieties of Disturbance by: Lydia Davis.

I can relate with the Catepillar story. When I see something or know that it is there I keep thinking about it any time something familiar to the subject is addressed or noticed. I do wonder where that spider has gone when an hour ago I had seen it dangling above my head. If I move, it is gone, and I can’t help but imagine what it is doing.

Most of her writing makes me feel like she is in my head. Not exactly inside, but maybe she is watching me; which makes me feel a little creeped out. I like that she writes about these simple things. It makes the connection with the reader stronger.

My favorite was We Miss You: A Study of Get-Well Letters from a Class of Fourth-Graders. I’m not exactly sure as to why it’s my favorite, maybe because it was one of the first longest reads. I liked how she made assumptions about the student Susan B. noting that her handwriting changed from “dark, upright, and confident” to “faint and slant”. Her specifics in every minute detail is surprising. While some may notice and see how this is while reading the letters I’ve never heard or read anything like this.

I feel like the more I could connect with her stories the more i liked her book. I really can’t make any connections between the stories except as being mere moments in the author’s (or narrator’s) own life.

Not being able to see the connections like the other students makes me want to reread this and dig deeper. Maybe I didn’t spend enough time reading this? It only took me a Saturday to read it. I only put it down to eat once.

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