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Prized by Paris: Lydia Davis to be Honored for Lifetime Achievement

Lydia Davis's past honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the 2013 Man Booker International Prize and the designation of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 17, 2015) -- Calling hers “a remarkable career,” officials of The Paris Review have named Department of English Professor/Writer-in-Residence and Writers Institute Fellow Lydia Davis the 2016 recipient of the Hadada, the publication’s lifetime achievement award.

Davis, a short story writer, novelist, essayist and English translator of great works, will be presented the award at the Review’s annual gala “Spring Revel” on April 5, 2016, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. 

Her long list of honors includes a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003 and the 2013 Man Booker International Prize. She recently was made an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. She has authored one novel, The End of the Story, and six story collections. Her translations from the French include new versions of Swann’s Way and Madame Bovary.

“Lydia Davis has shared her insight and talent with the University at Albany community across almost fifteen years, with the Department of English, the College of Arts and Sciences, and as a Fellow of the New York State Writers Institute,” said Donald Faulkner, the Institute’s director. “She has guided many students toward their own significant achievements, while all the while being able to tend her own work.

“I know of no continuing and active great teacher/writer in the literary arts at the University who has been so dedicated, selfless, and imaginative. She’s a bright light, and a feather in the cap of the University and the Institute. I join the University in saluting her.”

The Hadada is presented each year to a distinguished member of the writing community who has made a strong and unique contribution to literature. Previous recipients include John Ashbery, Joan Didion, Paula Fox, Norman Mailer, Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, Philip Roth, Norman Rush, James Salter, and William Styron. 

The Paris Review official statement credits Davis with contributing “some of our most beloved stories” since her first published piece for the Review in 1983, “Break It Down.” Others since include “If at the Wedding (At the Zoo),” “Ten Stories from Flaubert,” and, most recently, “The Seals.” She’s also curated a portfolio of Dutch scenes and written on translating Madame Bovary for the Review; earlier this year she was interviewed for the publication’s Art of Fiction series.

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