” Lydia Davis Archive

The End of Things

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Popular opinion says that during the holiday season, people either fall in love or reflect on their past year of life. Sometimes they do both, but it’s hard to manage these conflicting actions at the same time. One is active, expressive, and outward moving. The other is passive, observational,

Alternatives to Blast Open the Forms of Nonfiction

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Today’s nonfiction writers have at hand a number of forms other than the essay and the memoir. There’s the flash essay, of course, and literary journalism. Then there’s the catch-all form of nonfiction known as the lyric essay. So, what do they all mean?

Ploughshares Celebrates 45 Years! Summer 2016 Issue Now Available

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Ploughshares is pleased to announce the release of our Summer 2016 issue! This forty-fifth anniversary edition, guest edited by novelist Claire Messud and literary critic James Wood, includes new work from Viet Thanh Nguyen (winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize), Lydia Davis, Carys Davies, and more.

Grace Paley’s “Wants”: Activism and Civic Involvement for Writers

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  After years of dodging PTO meetings and volunteer opportunities, I became involved in a school overcrowding issue in my town because I didn’t want my children’s class sizes to become enormous. The problem seemed simple at first, but soon enough I was attending school committee meetings, spending hours

Our Summer 2015 Issue, Guest-Edited by Lauren Groff, Now Available!

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We are excited to announce that the Summer 2015 issue of Ploughshares, guest-edited by Lauren Groff, is available for purchase! Acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Lauren Groff (The Monsters of Templeton, Delicate Edible Birds) guest-edits this all-fiction issue. As Groff writes in her introduction, “I am searching for work

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why Louie Is Like Great Literature

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Tasha Golden is on vacation from the blog this week, so covering for her on the Round-Down today is the writer Gila Lyons. Gila’s work has appeared in Salon, The Millions, The Morning News, Tablet, The Forward, The NY Press, The Faster Times, The Berkshire Review, and other publications. She lives in Boston,

Get Real! Or Maybe Don’t Get Real? A Conversation with Lincoln Michel (Part 2)

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Recently, on social media, Gigantic magazine editor Lincoln Michel questioned the label of “realism.” I write “realism,” and I’m branching into other genres, so I introduced myself and asked a few more questions. Our conversation, conducted over e-mail, spanned several days, topics, and now two blog entries for Ploughshares. Lincoln Michel’s fiction