The new issue of The Quarterly Conversation – is just out, focusing on the work of Lydia Davis, author of Cahier 5.

davis-catOne of the centerpieces of the issue is a fascinating conversation between Davis and our own Dan Gunn. Davis is always precise and surprising, and the conversation, by sticking to apparently ‘technical’ questions, keeps turning up odd gems:

I also tend to personify things outside myself. My son pokes fun at me for that, though he also finds it contagious. I’ve done this since I was quite young—I remember walking in the woods by myself and feeling that the trees were conscious beings. I probably still feel that they are. This way of thinking may have been a result of the deep impression that certain children’s books made on me, for instance The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. Nowadays, I may even personify an inanimate object. But one result of this tendency is that in the case of a sentient creature, like an ant or even the dreaded mosquito, I can’t help feeling respect and compassion for it.

AUP Alumna Madeleine LaRue also has an article in this issue; and Jeffrey Greene writes movingly on the life of AUP honorary-degree recipient Mavis Gallant.