Guestbook

Below is my guestbook! Please take the time to sign my book and let me know what you think!


NamePetter
Email
Comments

Nameaysha
Email
Comments

Namestella
Email
Commentsno comments

Namejannet
Email
CommentsWow

NameAvery
Email
Comments😱😡

Nameisaaa
Email
CommentsHAPPY THANKSGIVING
ily.

Nameisaaa
Email
CommentsHAPPY THANKSGIVING
ily.

NameIsabel (@gameaiden on IG)
Email
CommentsWOO ily
& Happy
Thanksgiving!

NameIsabel (@gameaiden on IG)
Email
CommentsWOO ily
& Happy
Thanksgiving!

Namepetes karizy
Email
Comments

NameCheryl
Email
CommentsLove this website

NameRickia
Email
CommentsI love acehood

NameAlexis
Email
CommentsI'm terrified of butterflies

NameAmelia Hogue
Email
Comments

NameJessica
Email
CommentsFind the double h
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

NameJessica
EmailjessicasantiagoL
Comments

NameSofia
Email
Comments

Namemattie
Email
CommentsHey bye I

NameKaylee
Email
Comments

NameHana
Email
CommentsHelp I'm stuck at the Guest book factory!!!

NameHana
Email
CommentsHelp I'm stuck at the Guest book factory!!!

NameRobert morehouse
Email
CommentsThis isn't where I parked my car?

NameRobert morehouse
Email
CommentsThis isn't where I parked my car?

NameDalyla
Email
Comments🍑🍑🍑🍑🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🔥🔥🔥

NameDalyla
Email
Comments🍑🍑🍑🍑🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🍑🍑🍑🍑🍑🔥🔥🔥

NameCody pokorny
Email
Comments

Namejavier
Email
Comments

Namepham duy
Emailhhjvjyyuvyjvfyj
CommentsPRETTY AWESOME AND CUTE! Do another one. I like this alot


Nameim uhhhhhhh
Emailfgkvg. fhncgkc
CommentsUm hi i fell for it

Namelol
Email
Commentsk

NameCaleb Wise
Email
CommentsThis is a bitch

NameHailee
Email
CommentsHello want to talk let's talk board lol

NameBrooke
Email
Commentsthat was literally the saddest 10 minutes of my life.😂😂😑

NamePotato (Meiko)
Email
CommentsWow! I'm taking 10 minutes of my life to see the ending 😂😂😂😂😂

Namenelly dicksonz
Email
CommentsANNOYING but AWESOME!!!!!

NameKennedy
Email
CommentsThat was literally the saddest thing I've ever done.

Namejoan
Email
CommentsStupidity of highest order

NameAshley
Email
CommentsHello

NameFlorence
Email
CommentsThis is realy nice

Nameanto wala
Email
Commentsthat's awesome make another one.

Name✌️
Email⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Comments

NameShehmir
Email
CommentsCool

NameShehmir
Email
CommentsCool

NameKiki
Email
CommentsHi

Nameisabella
Email
Commentswaste of my life.

Namelashito
Email
Commentswhat is guestbook???

NameMarthe
Email
CommentsHei

Nametheguyfromschool
Emailhi there!
CommentsPretty cute and funny! You go girl! L-a-u-r-e-n........

NameIsabelle
Email
CommentsWHY??? JUST WHYYYY????

NameE m i l y
Email
Comments

Namebob
Email
CommentsI just clicked ok I didnt read any of it


NameSmacklebottom
Email
Comments

NameCheryl
Emailblossom.com
Comments

Namemeloppacket
Email
Commentsmeloppacket.weebly.com

NameJessani
Email
CommentsDfcvvcvb poop poop poop poop poop poop

Namejj
Emailgmail.com
Commentsvry bad..

Namelynette
Email
CommentscRYING THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN A WAS LAUGHING TO MYSELF AND ITS SIX A.M THANK YOU

Named
Emailew
Comments

NameAnna
Email
Comments

Namesandy
Email
Commentstooootally nuts..
just crazy..buh awesome

NameFrank Iero's Wife
Email
CommentsI LOVE FRANK IERO WITH ALL MY HEART

NameRB
Email
CommentsThis is sooooooooo stupid!!!

NameRB
Email
CommentsThis is sooooooooo stupid!!!

NameKaty
Email
CommentsCool! How did u do that!?? that was amazing OMG!!😂😂

NameKaty
Email
CommentsCool! How did u do that!?? that was amazing OMG!!😂😂

NameKaty
Email
CommentsCool! How did u do that!?? that was amazing OMG!!😂😂

Name唐汪昌 (你他妈的)
Email人人网
Comments因为我不知道如何听懂英语,也不喜欢这。应该有一个版本说普通话的人来说这个网站。我不断地不得不使用一个翻译来理解的消息。请把这个网站中文版。这是可怕的。我永远不会告诉任何我的朋友关于这个网站。

我很惊讶人们喜欢这种。不,政府甚至应意见簿。本网站的人是可怕的。

赞美这屁股将不复存在一旦中国军队走到他的房子和抓住了他并把他带回中国的佛。我们可能能够得到一些有价值的信息这屁股。

如果你正在阅读本文,你是中国人,请不喜欢这个网站。如果你是英语,你正在阅读本文,滚开。你真烂

请帮我找上人人网。

唐汪昌 (你他妈的)

NameAngelo
Email
Comments

NameAndrew
Email
Comments

NameCameron
Email
CommentsWow

NameTOMAS
EmailIS A PERSO n
CommentsLook down for it I
\ /

































































































































































































TROLL!!!.........you are an idiot

NameAnanab
EmailPekmichele2@
Comments

NameAnnabelle
Email
CommentsWhy did u do this to me!!!!

NameAnnabelle
Email
CommentsWhy did u do this to me!!!!

NameAnnabelle
Email
CommentsWhy did u do this to me!!!!

NameMichele
Email
CommentsTorture

NameTaylor
Email
Comments

NameTaylor
Email
Comments

Nameyh
Emailgg
Comments

NameDill Pickle
EmailSwag muffins at gmail dot com
CommentsI'm Cooler Than Cool

NameDill Pickle
EmailSwag muffins at gmail dot com
CommentsI'm Cooler Than Cool

NameCharles Dosh
Email
CommentsMaking me happy hehehe!

NameS B
Email
CommentsWhy. Why do you do this.

NameMargaret
Email
CommentsThat was hell

NameLuci Leffler
Email
CommentsThat was fun!

Namenayab tahir
Email
Comments

Nameidiot
Email
Commentsthis was annoying as fuck but im still gonna send it to everyone i know

NameLiwaa
Email
Comments

NameUmuk
Emailumukswag.om
Commentsahjkds

Namesarnnzry
Email
Comments

NameAnna
Email
Commentsthis thing is soooooo cool!!!!

NameZack
Email
Comments

Namepriyanka varma
Email
Comments

Namepriyanka varma
Email
Comments

Namevosti
Email
CommentsLolest dat was cool...another round

NameToxicseth
Email
CommentsThat was fun

Nameno
Emailno
CommentsNo

NameRebbeca
Email
Comments

NameNatalie
Emailzitk
Comments

NameNatalie
Emailzitk
Comments

NameNatalie
Emailzitk
Comments

NameNatalie
Emailzitk
Comments

NameNatalie
Email
Comments

NameAllante
Email
CommentsHow old are u

NameAllante
Email
CommentsHow old are u

NameCornelius🐪🐫
Email😳creepy stalker no email
CommentsI loved it!! It was frustrating but really fun! I was worried about it going until 1000 but, oh well! 😂😂

NameAvery
Email
Comments😱😡

Name😴
EmailIrritating
CommentsWtf bruhh that's irritant 😴😒✌️☕️🐸

Namecolevaldez
Email
Comments

NameJonte som bor i Rättvik och går i 7C på Rättviksskolan
Email
CommentsJag älskar bullfitta med lite sås, och kyckling med lite ris. MMMM BARN OCH KNIVMANGA ÄR DET BÄSTA SOM FINNS! MMMMMM Knivmanga och Barn är livet! #Barn #Knivmanga

NameSammy Raines
Email
Comments

NameMadelyn Hosack
Email
CommentsThat was.... Exhaustingly awesome.

NameFabian
Email
CommentsWTF

NameSammy Raines😂❤️💗
Email
CommentsThis was so funny, the highlight of my day! 💗

NameBo
Emaili aint tellin you my email
Commentspenissss

NameAvery
Email
Comments😱😡

Nameshady watkins
Email
Comments

NameHuey
Email
CommentsWoooooow hillarious

NameBacon bits
Email
CommentsThat was so fun I wanna do it again👌😸😄

Nameshweta
Email
Comments

NameMaddi
Email
CommentsWASSSSAAAPP

Namecharity florence
Email
CommentsHahaha spare my ribs ooouuh

Namecharity florence
Email
CommentsHahaha spare my ribs ooouuh

Namecharity florence
Email
Comments

Namecharity florence
Email
Comments

Namecharity florence
Emailhahaha spare my ribs oooouuh
Comments

Namesusheel fagana
Email
Comments

NameFuck
EmailHer
CommentsRight in da pussy

Nameayeeee
Emailayeeeee
Commentslol that was fun

NameThatguywholikespussy
Email
CommentsI love ur pussy paige

NameElizabeth h
Email
CommentsRat was really annoying

NameAlly
Email
CommentsOkay I admit it. It was really fun

NameAlly
Email
CommentsOkay I admit it. It was really fun

Namevinoth
Email
Commentsnice

NameJulia
Email
CommentsOk

NameMorgan
Email
Comments

NameBarack Obama
Email
CommentsThis is why America is a bad place

NameGEORGE
Email
Comments

NameGEORGE
Email
Comments

NameCourtney Barron
Email
Comments

Namegabe
Email
Commentsfuck off matt

NameRachel
Email
CommentsBruh

NameCarter M
Email
CommentsIn Chrome there is the feature to have a website stop showing dialogues, I used that! :) LOL

NameEvelyn🐵🐒
Email
CommentsThis is perfection😂👊😑😤👌✌️

NameAustin
EmailYo mama
CommentsThis took forever! But it was worth it

NameIsabella
Email
Comments

Namegracen
Emailgracenfburns
Comments😂

NameHadley
Email
CommentsHaha
I had to do that three times
😂

NameSaskia
Email
Comments😁

NameSaskia
Email
Comments😁

NameNils
Email
CommentsNo! No comments😂

Nameella
Email
Comments

Namedurheist
Email
CommentsHahahahaha

Namedorito
Emailtwitter.com/pontifex
Commentsi signed it again

Namedorito
Email
Commentsi signed it

NameZoe
Email
CommentsOK

NameChurnedcoconuts
Email
Comments

NameJordan
Email
CommentsHi

NameDaisy
EmailBoredom
CommentsHaha that was fun hope u see my versipn

NameDaisy
EmailBoredom
CommentsHaha that was fun hope u see my versipn

Namerohit sharma
Email
Commentssuperb

Nameushdhdb
Emailsgwuban
Comments

Nameushdhdb
Emailsgwuban
Comments

NamePrince
Email
Comments

NameViolet @mychemofficial
Email
CommentsThat entertained me for longer than it should have...

Nameamiii
Email
CommentsBoring not boring muhhhhhaaaaa

NameKat ˙ᘧ ͜ ˙
Email
CommentsPatience, my friends. Patience

Namenina
Email
Comments

NameSizzler lover
Email
CommentsI hate this website the pop up adds made me want to punch the screen so u better not make any more pop ups or I will literally DIE and have an EXTISENTIAL CRISIS!!!

NameSizzler lover
Email
CommentsI hate this website the pop up adds made me want to punch the screen so u better not make any more pop ups or I will literally DIE and have an EXTISENTIAL CRISIS!!!

NameExtralarge dick
Email
Comments

NameJessica
Email
CommentsDon't click the ok button

Name@Malmallovesyuh (Mal Smith)
Email
CommentsDayson I hate you-.-

NameVolleyballer bruh
Email
CommentsHilarious worst 10 minutes if my entire life

NameHannah jenkins
Email
CommentsThat took forever it was fun tho

NameChuckie
Email
CommentsI will find you, and I will make you suffer and kill you

Namezuri
Email
Comments

NameShabbir
Email
CommentsShahina the little annoying baka moron made do this stupid annoying thing! ERGH. Flipping hell so annoying...😐

NamePriyanka
Email
Comments

NameDaniel
Email
CommentsI'm putting this on my insta it's funny as hell

NameGUI
EmailGdcgg
CommentsVery funny

NameBitchcameback
Email
CommentsI just skipped all of them bc my phone has a security thingy. Haha I feel bad for the people who had to suffer

NameBitchcameback
Email
CommentsI just skipped all of them bc my phone has a security thingy. Haha I feel bad for the people who had to suffer

NameZoe
Email
CommentsFuck you! This was sooooooo annoying and I hope you delete your website m.

NameOoloyoh Toonoo
Email
CommentsI made it!

Namerobert
Email
Comments

NameWho even knows
Email
CommentsYou must have been reallllllllllllllly bored to do that.

NamePreston
Email
CommentsAbsolutely fucking man
Rock u

Namefuck her right in the pussy
Emailpuckherrightinthefussy.com
Commentsfuck her right in the pussy fuck her right in the pussy fuck her right in the pussy fuck her right in the pussy fuck her right in the pussy fuck her right in the pussy fuck her right in the pussy fuck her right in the pussy fuck her right in the pussy

NameAriel moreno
Email
CommentsStop please just stop you are getting annoying please go any feather watch you going to pay

NameAriel moreno
Email
Comments

Namesabrina
Emaillol
CommentsLOL your really informative I now know my numbers and ABCS thank you so much

Namesabrina
Emaillol
CommentsLOL your really informative I now know my numbers and ABCS thank you so much

Namedavis
Emailgmail.com
Comments

NameKarla Butler
Email
CommentsI had a really fun time reciting letters and numbers with you in glad you had the patience for me at least one. You have kind of lost patience for me

NameSuire
Email
CommentsOk then...😕finally made it through the torture😈hahahaha😋

Namelynlee
Email
CommentsHaha why 😂

Namelynlee
Email
CommentsHaha why 😂

NameBla
EmailBla
CommentsLol this is hilarious and awesome! :D

NameCarson
Emailblah
Commentsyolo sweg

Namesofia❤️
Emailwho cares?
Commentshey. you should follow me on insta😏💁 @s.e.l.f.i.e.ss
I'd appreciate it. Btw, that made my day😂😭

Nameanonymous.
EmailIdc
Commentshello. this is an anonymous person here. i just want to say, that was very fun, but pretty stupid. anyways, yeah😂💘

NameCarlos
Email
CommentsJust made my day

Namearissa
Email
Comments

NameRachel-Anh
Email
CommentsJfc this website

Nameleo gillon
Emailyer maws cat
Commentswtf

Nameruchi
Emailruchi ..
CommentsWat d hell is dis

Namekato yept
Email
Comments 5sos

Namehamada
Email
Commentsdon't click here!!!

NameAniz
Email
CommentsWat is dis??

NameAniz
Email
Comments

Namenatty
Email
CommentsIt waz soo annoying but also funny....

NameEmilie
Email
CommentsI love it so not annoying

NameAlageshwari
Email
CommentsHlaoao hi

Nameur hot
Emailur hot
CommentsJK hahahahahahahahhahaahahhahahahahaha bitch

NameHayley
Email
Comments

NameSophia matson
Email
CommentsI was about ready to kill some one when I got to the numbers

NameSophia matson
Email
CommentsI was about ready to kill some one when I got to the numbers

NameSophia matson
Email
CommentsI was about ready to kill some one when I got to the numbers

Namefrankly
EmailSECRET
Commentsowner of frankly pitas website gonna be closed soon :(

Namebitch from hell
Emailhellatgmaildot com
CommentsReally!!!!

Name...
Email...
CommentsFml

Nameevil
Emailnot telling you.
Commentsbyebyenow.

NameDarian
Emailturhed
Commentshello from Darian

NameDarude
Email
CommentsI want an iPhone 10S 128GB Platinum-Silver edition. And $1,000,000 cash. Ty

NameThomas
Emailsecond time
CommentsIt is easier on a computer than a phone.

NameThomas
Emailsecond time
CommentsIt is easier on a computer than a phone.

Namecassie
Emailcassiestokes121@gmail
CommentsThis is scarry awesome lol

NameErin
Email
CommentsDaniel😅

NameSavannah Walker
Email
Comments

Name
Email
CommentsLol my friend made me do this

NameCaylee
Email
CommentsHaha is was fun.. My fingers are sore..

NameCody
Email
CommentsMy email explains it. Fuck you

NameFatima
EmailGvi
CommentsWtf

NameFatima
EmailGvi
CommentsWtf

Namecap
Email
CommentsLol

Namemildred
Email
Commentshehe

NameLizzy
Email
CommentsI clicked. It was so tempting.

Namevidya
Email
Comments

Namehi
Emailhi
CommentsHi Asia is cool

Nameloralee
Email
Commentsor snow451997@yahoo.com

NameBABU
Email
CommentsMr.Kadhus.... kya ye hai....???
Pagal....

Namelili debbarma
Email
Comments:-P

Namelollly
Email
Comments

Nameparul
Email
Comments

Nameking Y Jr
Email
Commentsfunny

Namenaila
Email
Comments

NameRowan
Email
Comments

NameChris
EmailTacoson
CommentsTaco

NameThomas
Email
Comments

NameHailey
Email
Commentsit's is soo cruel!! But finny

Namejosh
Email
Comments

NameJemma (Emily)
Email
CommentsWhy😂😂😂😂😭😭😭😭😭

NameJemma (Emily)
Email
CommentsWhy😂😂😂😂😭😭😭😭😭

NameJemma (Emily)
Email
CommentsWhy😂😂😂😂😭😭😭😭😭

NameAyeJAYDEN
Email
Commentskids

Nametrevor
Email
Comments

NameBruh
EmailFucckyou.net
CommentsThis sucks

NameVandhia shankar
Email
Comments???????????????????????

Name1234
Email
CommentsComment

NameBdndiddjn
EmailDeducid de
CommentsDidijdjdj

NameBdndiddjn
EmailDeducid de
CommentsDidijdjdj

NameVictoria Kimani
Email
Commentsinteresting

NameMama puta
Email
CommentsSuck my ass

NameNiki!!
Email
CommentsReal annoying but COOL

NameMianna Bryce [Youngblood._.atthedisco]
Email
CommentsWORTH IT

NameJessie
EmailHence Ben stupid
CommentsThat is so annoying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Namehhhhhh
Emailhhgtugbb
Comments

NameFuk
EmailYou
Comments

NameBlake
Email
CommentsI hate this😂 I thought it would never end

NameEva
Email
CommentsWow

NameCameron
Email
CommentsTHIS SUCKS!!!!!!

NameJenna
Email
Comments😂

NameRea
Email
CommentsI hate u

NameRea
Email
Comments

NameSean Agnew
Email
CommentsI WILL make all of my friends do this!!!!!!!!!🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊

NameJuliana
Email
CommentsI am so annoyed😂

NameSean Agnew
Email
CommentsI WILL make all of my friends do this!!!!!!!!!🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊

NameConnor
Emailcondabon912@gmailcom
CommentsHay dis mean

NameDannette
Email
CommentsFollow my instagram @bandnudez if you want shirtless bandmembers on your feed

NameWill
Email
CommentsThat was so good!!

Namesjjsjsa
Emailndjd
CommentsHAHAHAHHA

NameKaroline
Email
CommentsThat was so funnu

NameHailey
Email
CommentsI was getting frustrated!!

NameZaki
Email
Commentssick man

Namerockinzr
Email
Comments

Namerockinzr
Email
Comments

NameAmanda O.
Email
CommentsI love this

NameAlpine Steve
Email
CommentsGoogle chrome blocks popups 😂

NameTaylor
Email
CommentsIt's so long

Namemokgwadi manare bigboy
Email
Comments

Nameamit jasani
Email
CommentsGood

Nameamit jasani
Email
CommentsGood

NameYolonda Puff
Email
Comments

Nametharak
Email
Comments

NameAbigail
Email
CommentsThat was highly irratating

NameLeah
Email
CommentsCool

NameLeah
Email
Comments

NameMarie
Email
CommentsHahahahahhahahahaggqgqgqggqgqggqgqgqgqggqgqgqg

NameMarie
Email
Comments

NameHARRY
Email
CommentsI tricked my friends into clicking on it LOL Great Website😅😈

Nameconsolata wanjiru
Email
Comments

NameAloysius
Email
CommentsTHA HECK

NameEugene porter
Email
CommentsThis was complete waste of my fucking time. Because of you I couldn't close your stupid little game and had to complete your shit. And by the way, I couldn't leave because the damn thing wouldn't let me open up a new tab. So fuck you, this shit was more retarded than your birth. I can't believe an idiot like you would make such an immature thing. Have a good fucking day mate

NameEugene porter
Email
CommentsThis was complete waste of my fucking time. Because of you I couldn't close your stupid little game and had to complete your shit. And by the way, I couldn't leave because the damn thing wouldn't let me open up a new tab. So fuck you, this shit was more retarded than your birth. I can't believe an idiot like you would make such an immature thing. Have a good fucking day mate

NameGay lord perry
Email
Comments

NameBrynn
Email
CommentsSup I'm a gymnast

Namefinley
Email
CommentsOmg

NameHarrison Morosky
Email
Comments

NameDaquan
EmailI like food.com
CommentsIt sucks d*ck

NameDaquan
EmailI like food.com
CommentsIt sucks d*ck

NameDaquan
EmailI like food.com
CommentsIt sucks d*ck

NamePenis Vagina
Email
CommentsI LOVE PENISES AND VAGINAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NamePenis Vagina
Email
CommentsI LOVE PENISES AND VAGINAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NameRuth
Email
Comments

Namesanjeev dahal
Email
Comments

Nameiyyappa
Email
CommentsI don't know this

NameLyssa
Email
Comments

NameSam James
Email
CommentsHello everyone galb u could make it here today

NameGrace Davis
Email
CommentsOMG so annoying I keep forgetting to click out of this website so every time I go onto safari I have to click the through it again ughh! Thanks a lot Chealsea

Oh and ppl plz follow me on Instagram my account is: graciewacie12345

NameLila
Email
CommentsThis was a waste of a good 2 minutes ill never get back.

Namekalea harrison
Email
Comments

Nameaiyana
Email
CommentsHeey , lol .😂😊😚

Nameaiyana
Email
Commentsheey .😊😘😂

NameThis was horrible
Email
CommentsThis was so annoying

NameThis was horrible
Email
CommentsThis was so annoying

Namekaya
Email
CommentsCheck out my insta, @kayacolina

Nameanneth
Email
Comments

NameAshley
Email
CommentsMy boyfriend is so annoying

NameTsetan
Email
CommentsCool

NameTimothy
Email
CommentsOMG I SWARE TO GOD I THOGHT HE WAS GOING TO COUNT FOREVER!!!! But that was halarious

NameFee
Email
Comments

Namenathan
Email
CommentsWhat's thus

Namenae nae
Email
Comments

NameFrank
Email
CommentsLol good one

NameRyan
Email
CommentsFuck This

NameI Am Awesome
Email
Comments

NameGracie facie
Email
CommentsThat was ridiculously stupid but kinda fun.

NameGracie facie
EmailI'm not gonna tell u
CommentsThat was ridiculously stupid but kinda fun.

Name❤SICELIA❤GONZALES❤
Email
CommentsThat was so stupid but fun

NameBella
Email
CommentsThis was hilarious but extremely stupid

NameDean Abraham
Email
CommentsI hate your guts

Namecaroline
Email
Commentsthe most annoying thing ever

NameAss
Email
CommentsAss

NameCammy
Email
Comments

NameCaroline
Email
CommentsNice try Laine.

NameOlivia
Emailolivia.is.the.bomb.com
CommentsI love Alex From Target. He's bae. Ain't nobody gonna take him away. Even though he don't know that I exist, we're mentally dating. Alex Angelo follows me on twitter. You should do the same! & on Imstagram.
Twitter: picturethisliv
Instagram:livnari
I love you Alex!❤

Namegloria imali
Email
Commentsquite interesting though annoying you really know how to keep someone glued to the screen. Awesome! Come up with something better and alert me. Again AWESOME!!!!

Namemy name is bob
Email
Commentslollllolololololololol

Nameerfrew
Email
Commentsdsf

Nametanuja
Email
Comments

NameHolly Mitchell
EmailYou have already got it
CommentsIt got really boring when u were counting😂 did all of it✋🙊

Nameafsal
Email
CommentsJust fun

NameLauren
Email
CommentsLmao that was fun

NameEmily Rose
Email
CommentsYour awesome ����

Namejason
Email
CommentsFuck

Namejustin
Email
CommentsMmm...hii

NameJanelle Dias
Email
CommentsThat was fun

Namefabulous
Emailfab.fab.com
Commentsthat was fun...

NameRyan
EmailM
Comments

NameSawyer
Email
CommentsCool!

sawyerford1979@gmail.com

NameJevious
EmailJeviousJlapSlap
Commentswedgfhejsdhfgrhejw

NameJoe
EmailBiden
Comments

NameJoe
EmailBiden
Comments

Name Lexi Preston
Email
CommentsIt was very funny

Name Lexi Preston
Email
CommentsIt was very funny

NameAngus
Email
Comments

Nameidakbasar@gmail.com
Emailrockeygirl
Commentswhat's up

NameJessica
Email
Comments

Namejenny apum
Email
Comments

NameRocco
Email
Commentsflip you

Namerocco
Email
Commentsflip you

Nameyvette
Emailbruh at gmail dot com
CommentsI thought something scary would pop up 😂😂

NameSomeone
Email
CommentsOk

NameNatalie
Email
CommentsThis is funny

Nameonsinyonyangau@gmail.com
Email0720870611
Comments

Namerajan
Email
CommentsFunny

NameI think you know, Trent..
Email
CommentsYou guys have way too much time on your hands

Namekill you
Email
Comments

Namekiki
Email
Comments

Namesuma priyanka
Email
Commentshai

NameNiharika
Email
Comments

NameDipi
EmailDigital. Etc @home
Comments

NameBryan
Email
Commentsthat was a waste of five minutes

NameJared
Email
Comments😜

NameJared
Email
Comments😜

NameRiley
Email
CommentsThis website drove me to the brink of insanity. I hope that was the point. I would like to see a sequel. Thanks. And Sam sent me

Namemahendra
Email
Comments

NameRiley
Email
CommentsThis website drove me to the brink of insanity. I hope that was the point. I would like to see a sequel. Thanks. And Sam sent me

NameGrjjfjfvt
EmailJeff fudge
Comments

NameJoelee
Email
Comments

NameAustin
Email
Comments

NameJoshua
Email
Commentswwe n mjinga

NameElvis.chimp
Email
CommentsHey there

Nameblackopz
Email
CommentsHey how it going

NameMyah
Email
CommentsI knew that was gonna happen

Namemirriam shimule
Email
Comments

Namekalika dixit
Email
Comments

Namebornali saikia
Email
Comments

Nameabhi
Email
Comments┗(`ー´)┓┗(`ー´)┓┗(`ー´)┓┗(`ー´)┓┗(`ー´)┓¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Namesusmita bhattacharjee
Email
Comments

Namejujnhbo89yvb
Emailgyby,uhbybn
Commentsnubycercxcytbxfgvfcdfcxcvzsvrxcxcfcdcdrstuicfh

Nameeunice
Emailmwauraeunice@gmail
Commentsgud.

Namegirish
Email
Comments

Namegirish
Email
Comments

NameAnna
Email
Comments

NameRuby
Email
CommentsFun

NameArnab Kumar Das
Email
CommentsSexy! Tested my Herculean patience😍

NameVictoria
Email
Comments

NameBarbara padilla
Email
Commentsfrankly pitas

NameNash/Hayes
Email
CommentsHey guys!! Whew, takes along time to get to the page!!! All of you have a good night, see ha later.

NameSam
Email
Comments

NameBarbara padilla
Email
Commentsfrankly pitas

NameSomeone awesome 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😍😍😍😍😍😍😉😍😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😀😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😙😙😙😙😙😘😘😘😘😘😘😅😅😅😅😅😎😎😎😎😎😋😋😋😋😋😆😆😆😆😆😇😇😇😇😇💩💩💩💩💩💩💩
EmailAwsomeperson19
CommentsThis was so annoying but fun, I made it!

NameZane Reese
Email
CommentsThat was stupid

NameNo
EmailNo
CommentsNo

Namejasmine campos
Email
Comments
ACTION="http://frankly.pitas.com/">
VALUE="DON'T CLICK HERE"

NameScrewyouSean
Email
CommentsSCREW YOU SEAN!!!!!!!😡😡😡😡😠😠😠😠😡😠😡😠👿👿👿

NameStephyyy Bart😍💙
Email
Comments#alexfromtarget and Sam Swaurtwood is mine bitches☺️👫🌹💏

NameMarf
Email
Commentswhat if one day you woke up, and you were a chicken nugget?

NameMarf
Email
Commentswhat if one day you woke up, and you were a chicken nugget?

NameAdriana
Email
CommentsI feel bad for all the people that get frustrated and give up. But I powered through it and I feel great!!

NameManu
Email
Comments

Namemaranda gouveia
Emailmgouveia.gmail.com
Comments

NameOlivia
Email😂😂
CommentsThis is my third time by accident cause I kept exiting out of this and I wanted to write in it😘😱😂😁

NameOlivia
Email😂😂
CommentsThis is my third time by accident cause I kept exiting out of this and I wanted to write in it😘😱😂😁

Nameanestry mbawala
Email
CommentsYap it fun

Nameanestry mbawala
Email
Comments

NameVolleybabe1
Email
Comments

NameVolleybabe1
Email
Comments

NameSara
Email
Comments

NameLilly
Email*
CommentsHaha

NameCannabis
Email
CommentsWhat the fuck, I just wanted to connect to fuckin wi-fi in McDonalds. I ain't never been so fuckin pissed off in my life

Namemudds
Email
CommentsHi

Hows life

NameIsaac 😄
Email
CommentsHckcofkc :D

NameHHAHA
Email
CommentsI LOVe you

Nameavil
Email
Comments

NameKendall
Email
CommentsI've never been so pissed off yet so amused...

Namenipuii chinzah
Email
Comments

Namea big booti hoe aka joeys bae
Email
CommentsJoey u should have put nudes in there

Namezlatan kncoks
Emailzlatan keep ck at the nomail dot in
Comments🙅😂😂😂😂😂

Namewaad
Emailwaad
Comments

Nameabdul basheer
Email
Commentshi

Namemolly
Email
CommentsLove it 😅👏😆

Namesinojtd
Email
Comments

Namenot_telling_you
EmailstillNotTellingYou at gmail dot com
CommentsThis is fun. I do it when Im bored. And I do also troll my friends with it.

NameMatilda
Email
Comments:)

NameBarbra
Email
Comments

Namecutiepie
Email
Comments

Namenatho
Email
Comments

Namebalaram Reddy
Email
Comments

NameLachlan
Email
CommentsFreaking amazing but soo annoying

NameZaks
Email
Comments

NameSerene Cunningham
Email
CommentsThat was SOO fun!! I had no idea when the numbers were going to end!! 10/10 would do it again.

NameZaylie
Email
Comments

NameTigerr
Email
CommentsIlyy💕

NameWilliam
EmailUnknown
CommentsThat was very long...
LETS DO IT AGAIN!!!

NameAnnabeth
EmailNone
CommentsThis was very fun actually. Like for real

NameAnnabeth
EmailNone
CommentsThis was very fun actually. Like for real

NameClaudia
EmailMuah🌸
CommentsThis was so boring I thought it will never end😞

NameMadison
Email
CommentsI thought it was going to be a big surprise at the end. Lol nope

NameEllie
Email
CommentsThis was stupid

NameJenna M.
EmailJenna
Comments😂😂😂😂😂😂

NameShrek
Email
CommentsShrek yourself before you wreck yourself
Their will be a shrekining soon
Shrek is love shrek is life

NameAdrian
Email
Comments

NameTY siplanee
Email
CommentsLol I'm retarded

Namee
Emaile
Comments

Namedayanara
Email
Comments

NameHailey
EmailHailey
CommentsReallllyyyyy

NameHailey morrow
EmailHailey
Comments

NameHailey morrow
EmailHailry
Comments

Namewaseem
Email
Comments

NameMargaret dow
Email
Comments

NameNoah Willman
Email
Comments

NameNoah Willman
Email
Comments

NameLily
EmailL
Comments

Namekia
Emailhanen
Comments

NameJonah
EmailHands
CommentsThat was gay af

NameAdrian
EmailVasquez
CommentsGonna kill whoever did this.

NameAnna
Email
CommentsTHAT WAS SOOO FREAKING FUNNY!!!
HAHAHAHAH!!
Laughing so hard 😂😂😂😂

NameAllen K
Email
CommentsI SURVIVED

Namesuli
Email
Comments

Nameyashi
Email
CommentsHaaaahaaaa....:-D

Namenidhi verma
Email
CommentsSweet heart

NameJillian Stewart
Email
CommentsI have done this 2 times. On accident!😳 very good tho! You got me.

NameMin e
Emailooops...
CommentsThts jus real madness....

Nameit's me
Email
CommentsWHO EVER MADE THIS IS FUCKING MAD

Namecameron
Email
Comments

Namehaleigh
Email
Commentswhat the FUCK

NameMaggie schmidt
Email
CommentsUghhh... Why?!?

NameTaylor
Email
CommentsI hope this is not a book

NameUnknown
EmailUnknown@unknown
CommentsWhat idiot would do this? You are such an asshole. Go fuck yourself.

NameU dont need to know
EmailU ALSO don't need to know (hint;: I go to ur school)😌😌
CommentsWAS ALL THAT REALLY NECCESARY

NameMark Chuffing
Email
CommentsTHIS CHUFFING ROCKS

NameKatherine
Email
CommentsUr evil

Nameno.
Emailno.
Comments

NameRiley hall
Email
CommentsHey bye

NameRyan
Email
CommentsSo funny but tireing

NameRyan
Email
CommentsSo funny but tireing

Name@watermellon333
Email
CommentsLolololol

NameKailani estrada
Email
CommentsI freakin loved this I thought it would never stop

Namesafiya
Email
Comments

Namesafiya
Email
Comments

Namesafiya
Email
Comments

NameAlex
Email
CommentsThat was evil

NameMasha
Email
CommentsHi

NameAlex murimi
Email
Comments

NameMaria
Email
CommentsWow. Just wow.

Namehazel
Email
CommentsHi....the ok thing is so crappy.remove it!

Nameomaan
Email
Comments

Namejonas
Email
CommentsI honestly wish we would've counted to a million

Namebajs
Email
Commentsidiot

Namepallavi
Email
Comments

Namepallavi
Email
Comments

Namepallavi
Email
Comments

Namegud f puffy IOU
Emailv v Lecce v dotted
CommentsFDD zevg

Namekerl pernder
Email
CommentsUNGGOY SI JM

Namesanjib malakar
Email
Comments

NameRosslyn
Email
CommentsThat only took 4 & ever!

NameNiles Miller
Email
CommentsFuck u bitch

NameMahala B
Email
CommentsOh heck ya. I did it. 😂 it was great.

NameMahala B
Email
CommentsOh heck ya. I did it. 😂 it was great.

Namevalerie nicole 🌿
Emailchoke on a barbie doll
Commentshow tf do you have time to make shit like this?
follow me on instagram @valerie.peters 😛

NameHelena
Email
CommentsI wanted to shoot myself.

NameJAKE
Email
CommentsWhats up man can't wait til basketball this year

NameJAKE
Email
CommentsWhats up man can't wait til basketball this year

NameLupe
Email
Comments

Nametaylor
Emailclickhere.com
Comments

NameEmma
Email
CommentsLove your Instagram and this page is bomb.com cx

Nameisabella
Email
CommentsI really want you to suck my cunt

NameJulie Hastings
Email
CommentsI thought this was never gonna end!!! It should become an app!!!!

Nameautumnnnn
Email
Comments

NameERIK
Email
Comments.

NameERIK
Email
Comments.

NameERIK
Email
Comments.

NameERIK
Email
Comments

NameAnisha Rahman
Email
Comments

NameSoleil
Email
CommentsHUEHUEHUE

NameAsish Yakkala
Email
Comments👏😱😨

Namesakina
Email
Comments:)

NameJim Junderson
Email
CommentsAYYY LMAO

Namemanju
Email
Comments

NameNzan
Email
CommentsLol......

NameNzan
Email
CommentsLol......

NameNzan
Email
Comments

Namesyam
Emailforvicro
Comments

Namekaikasha naaz
Email
Comments

NameBarbie Tia
Email
Comments:)
No comments..!!

NameKenny
Email
Comments

Namevishal
Email
Comments

NameZannnnnne
Emailhdjejsn
CommentsGreat prank website!

NameCharlotte
Email
CommentsI just wasted 5 minutes of my life :)

NameLeaun
Email
Comments

NameInocencio castro
Email
CommentsCrazy

NameEden
Email
Comments

NameMILA
Email
Comments

NameLuke Grimes
Email
Comments

NameLuke Grimes
Email
Comments

Namesydney
Email
CommentsHi

NameWill
Emailironbane.com
CommentsOnly did two, my friend said i couldnt get out of it. Runnin Chromium on linux. I can get out of anything.

NameWill
Emaildjddd
CommentsNice, add some js to not allow them to exit. BTW i only did three, does it go on forever?

NameMackenzie
Email
CommentsDude.... Really? Hahahahahaha! That was hilarious how do you do that? That was hilarious! Best prank ever!

NameJill Campbell
Email
CommentsWhat the heck! That was hilarious! 😂😂😂😂 thanks Kyndyl ✌️✌️✌️✌️

NameP. Miller
Email
CommentsThis is the most ridiculous, unnecessary website I have ever encountered.

NameMadison Mattila
Email
CommentsBEST PRANK FOR FRIENDS EVER! Thank you.

NameMadison Mattila
Email
CommentsBEST PRANK FOR FRIENDS EVER! Thank you.

Namesofia
Email
Commentswhy didnt i just do as you said

NameJulie
Email
Comments

NameSeth Stanley
Email
CommentsSeth Stanley

NameSeth Stanley
Email
CommentsSeth stanlry

NameHarper
Email
CommentsAye love android I skipped it

NameMariee
Email
CommentsHeeey ! follow Me On Instagram @Estheerms_

NameRec45c
Email
CommentsMake more, longer and sillier ones plz cuz dis was awsome

NameLauren
Email
CommentsThis is so fun it will show it to my friends and make them suffer

NameMorgen
EmailMorgenhenderson@iclou
CommentsThat was extra legitimate

NameKayla Cruz
Email
CommentsHi

NameMorgan
Email
Comments

NameJennifer Luna
Email
Comments

NameKanrry
Email
CommentsThe first time I clicked on it was when I was in 6th grade(last year). The first time I did it, I didn't notice the "prevent this page from giving additional dialogues" box. So it kind of felt like forever. I figured, this would be quite appropiate for 5-year olds.

NameAnna
Email
CommentsHaha Lol that felt like forever

NameGigi
Email
Comments

Namelawrence pilkington
Email
CommentsTHAT WAS FUN 😉

Namekavitha
Email
CommentsHi!!! For all .

NameAvi singhai
Email
Comments...

Namejaswanth
Email
Comments

NameEmily 🔫
Email
CommentsHahahahaha 😂😂

Nameprathyusha maddi
Email
Comments

Nameprathyusha maddi
Email
Comments

NameLali
Email
Comments

NameKylie
Email
Comments

NameMelanie
Email
CommentsI FUCKING HATE YOU! GO DIE IN A FUCKING HOLE.

NamePuneet Jain
Email
Comments

Namehappy
EmailJack
CommentsYou are stupid

Namepatrick
Emailshannon
Comments

Namejames
Email
Commentswhat know more

Namekenken uy
Email
Commentswth !?

Namerainbow
Email
Commentshahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhh......... nice *falls on butt laughing* hahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhhahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhh

Namerainbow
Email
Commentshahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhh......... nice *falls on butt laughing* hahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhhahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhh

NameJack
Email
CommentsHi this is the most strange website ever lol when the thru the whole f***n thing

Namefrancesca
Email
CommentsSo funny all my friends at school saw it on instagram!

NameDave Sanders
Email
CommentsIt was fun but a little bit boring

NameLownedclkr3crecrecrecwre
Email
CommentsUr a booger in the nose of this planet.

NameEmily
Email
Comments

NameMakenzie
Email
CommentsI thought I would never make it to the end😂😂

NameJacob
Email
Comments

NameFollow me on Instagram @Monsterenerge
Email
Comments
Name Harley😛🌸
Email harleycarroll0802 at gmail dot com
Comments Follow my Instagram @flyinqcats and tHIS WAS SO HILLARIOUS LIKE BRUH



Name Ellie
Email dontknow.gmail.com
Comments Peace ✌✌✌



Name that sucked
Email pinkpanther at gmail dot com
Comments that really sucked now im a hater but I don't care



Name Anvesh
Email anuguptha0120 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Lexi
Email Alexin at gemal dot com
Comments Loser Christian and I do Instagram
Snapchat
Kik
Rectaca




Name Dick
Email TheDick at yahoo dot com
Comments I am a dick



Name Lily-Rose Nicholson
Email lilypop33 at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments I am EPIC and...I'm Batman



Name Lily-Rose Nicholson
Email lilypop33 at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments I am EPIC and...I'm Batman



Name V
Email Pinkpanther at gmail dot com
Comments That sucked.



Name cjk
Email cjk at email dot w
Comments i madeit toda end



Name zayden
Email zaydengold at gmail dot com
Comments this was really long but funny and i bet i could annoy a lot of people with this so thanks



Name Ana Marina
Email marabiertocholula at yahoo dot com dot mx
Comments



Name Makaela
Email Makaelagroll at aol dot com
Comments Omg I honestly thought it would go on foreevvverrrr but then it ended . It's was super entertaining tho. XD



Name Makaela
Email Makaelagroll at aol dot com
Comments Omg I honestly thought it would go on foreevvverrrr but then it ended . It's was super entertaining tho. XD



Name Zarah
Email phatimah dot xahra at ymail dot com
Comments what d hecks!!!!! dis rily shows how curious d human mind can get



Name Zarah
Email phatimah dot xahra at ymail dot com
Comments what d hecks!!!!! dis rily shows how curious d human mind can get



Name Mrudul
Email mrudulg341 at gmail dot com
Comments Its a fun tym.. stress free...



Name Mrudul
Email mrudulg341 at gmail dot com
Comments Its a fun tym.. stress free...



Name Hanna
Email M
Comments Hhhhhhh



Name fghj
Email jjgg
Comments bh



Name Josh
Email Joshpalmer11 at aol dot con
Comments Boring




Name Adeel
Email Adeelhabib12345 at gmail dot com
Comments Safe vasi raza



Name Adeel
Email Adeelhabib12345 at gmail dot com
Comments Safe vasi raza



Name peter
Email pgatuna98 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name fghj
Email jjgg
Comments bh



Name Leslie
Email Maryrodriguez956 at gmail dot com
Comments This was the funniest but yet annoying thing ever.!😂😂



Name CASEY IS ALIVE
Email Idontgiveoutmyemail at hahahahahhahaha dot com
Comments That was cool



Name tatty
Email noneofyobidnes
Comments Wtffff



Name Ayyadurai
Email ayyadurai dot thhc at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Ayyadurai
Email ayyadurai dot thhc at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Ayyadurai
Email ayyadurai dot thhc at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Ayyadurai
Email ayyadurai dot thhc at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Cam
Email Chocolatelovescamille.com
Comments You is bae



Name Cam
Email Chocolatelovescamille.com
Comments You is bae



Name Cam
Email Chocolatelovescamille.com
Comments You is bae



Name Cam
Email Chocolatelovescamille.com
Comments



Name fghj
Email jjgg
Comments bh



Name 😂
Email my ass dot org
Comments omfg 😂



Name Jackson
Email Downs
Comments How you doing



Name Me
Email AmarrBrice at hotmail dot com
Comments Perfect for pissing people off



Name Alex
Email Cubicrube1 at gmail dot com
Comments Yay



Name Alex
Email Cubicrube1 at gmail dot com
Comments Yay



Name Alex
Email Cubicrube1 at gmail dot com
Comments Yay



Name Ashley
Email ashleyw9876 at gmail dot com
Comments That was funny yet frustrating!😂😂😄😄



Name Elani
Email Dd1m2m at aol dot com
Comments You will suffer and never stop



Name Brad
Email steward_bradley at yahoo dot com
Comments this pissed me off



Name Lonely
Email altaflone 607 at gmail dot com
Comments great




Name this will give you a boner
Email boner!!! at redtube dot com
Comments 💏 🚻







TOLD YOU THIS WILL GIVE YOU BONER!!!!!



Name this will give you a boner
Email boner!!! at redtube dot com
Comments 💏🙅



Name sar
Email sar dot engti at Facebook dot com
Comments



Name fukherriteintepussi
Email fukyoubish at gmail dot com
Comments this made me just keep pressing OK with out reading anything



Name Armani
Email armaniperez2001 at gmail dot com
Comments I Hate Ashley for showing this to me



Name lavanya
Email mounilavvi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name lavanya
Email mounilavvi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Caroline
Email Carolinegrzybowskiatgmail.com
Comments Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz



Name jordan altenburg
Email jordan dot altenburg69 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Joseph
Email s891054 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Zach
Email Ayers
Comments Sucked ass



Name alu batata
Email alu dot lelo at yahoo dot com
Comments Aluuuu le loooooooo kandaaaa leee loooooo



Name summer stiller
Email I dot want dot cok at gmail dot com
Comments I want cock



Name ajib
Email bersamamu
Comments



Name ajib
Email bersamamu
Comments



Name canine
Email yourmum at yahoo dot com
Comments touch me plz senpai, i love it



Name gaylord
Email urmom at loser dot com
Comments u suck lol



Name Alley
Email Arthuale at usd260 dot com
Comments



Name Victoria
Email dulockv at gmail dot com
Comments I honestly did not think this would end😂



Name Fabian
Email favh60@gmail
Comments



Name Rose
Email Belikov
Comments This was so funny! Even though I should be doing homework lol!



Name Caitlin
Email Caitlin at gmail dot com
Comments Ur beautiful



Name Serena Lawson
Email Slawson19 at petk12 dot org
Comments Muhahahhahaa



Name Adien
Email Adienmuler at gmail dot com
Comments I hate you



Name Brook Lovelace.
Email Brook Lovelace at verizon dot net
Comments



Name You'll never no
Email Whatever
Comments That was so retard like what come on now what da heck was that non-sence



Name Zane graham
Email Zane at sktc dot net
Comments Didn't expect a counting adventure or learning how to say the alphabet 😂😂😂



Name Your mother
Email anguspounderoranuspounder?
Comments Did anyone else get to the end?



Name Shantavia
Email Purpletavia at yahoo dot com
Comments That was utterly stupid



Name Phillip theadore Ellis counters pottatomas the 3 of the 52 llamas
Email Ptecpt3ot52l
Comments That was great fun



Name Phillip theadore Ellis counters pottatomas the 3 of the 52 llamas
Email Ptecpt3ot52l
Comments



Name Fish
Email Saffron dot house at hotmail dot com
Comments Fish



Name Nola Aier
Email changkirinola17 at gmail dot com
Comments This was stupid...and I fell for it....just so stupid..



Name Nola Aier
Email changkirinola17 at gmail dot com
Comments This was stupid...and I fell for it....just so stupid..



Name Suprav Roy
Email suprav16 at gmail dot com
Comments .........



Name SUPRAV ROY
Email suprav16 at gmail dot com
Comments .........



Name Stephen Griffin
Email barrygriffin at daddystrokes dot com
Comments I am gay



Name sai
Email saichaitanyavarma at gmail dot com dot com
Comments



Name om godambe
Email omrgodambe at gmail dot com
Comments cool



Name cole
Email slazgtr at gmail dot com
Comments this site makes me want to kill myself



Name cole
Email slazgtr at gmail dot com
Comments this site makes me want to kill myself



Name Superheadsmasher
Email neonsounds12 at gmail dot com
Comments HEY GUYS!



Name Allie
Email allie dot dasilva at hotmail dot ca
Comments Honestly don't know what I'm doing with my life...



Name Allie
Email allie dot dasilva at hotmail dot ca
Comments Honestly don't know what I'm doing with my life...



Name John Ruiz III
Email Johnruiz30303 at gmail dot com
Comments 😂😂😂👏👏👏



Name dude
Email dide
Comments Haha that was so funny



Name Bobby
Email Carlson
Comments Nooooo!!!!!!!!!!!'!




Name Issac Woolum
Email Issacwoolum78 at gmail dot com
Comments Best website ever



Name Tristan B
Email Tigerdragon59 at gmail dot com
Comments Why does this website exist?



Name grace
Email @nope
Comments :)



Name gaburrito
Email gaby at aol dot com
Comments this was torture



Name Jason
Email Clickthedot at google dot com
Comments It was fun add more things



Name Sierra janisch
Email Janischsierra at aol dot com
Comments That was so painful to stare at my screen and click.... Jk 👀



Name LLAMA GOD MATHAFACKAS
Email justin dot davis63 at aol dot com
Comments IM A LLAMA GOT A PROB SMD



Name Anal Me
Email fuckmyasshole69 at gmail dot com
Comments Fuck me?



Name Sam
Email Samqueen0216 at gmail dot com
Comments Love you



Name Emily!
Email elcsoccer03 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Me
Email www.intranet.com.email
Comments Yes I have a comment



Name Alyssa arreola😘😘
Email Alyssaarreola87 at gmail dot com
Comments This was really anoyying
Xoxo



Name Connor Ney 💁
Email cpney at indy dot rr dot com
Comments



Name Eddie
Email actimal at hotmail dot com
Comments Yaya



Name George
Email Fields
Comments lol pretty funny.



Name Weznon
Email waterwasp55555 at gmail dot com
Comments Pretty Funny.
Also The Game



Name zack
Email brosman
Comments



Name Drew rosie
Email Coolcat78902 at gmail dot com
Comments Fuck this



Name Someone
Email Kriskringlesantaclaus10 at gmail dot com
Comments That was very annoying. My friend sent me this link and told me about it. Actually very creepy.



Name Halima Khatun
Email halimaparveen8 at gmail dot com
Comments Really it's soooooo funny and exciting....



Name Halima Khatun
Email halimaparveen8 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Aman Raj Singh
Email amanraj94315 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name HYNA
Email hyzarnana at gmail dot com
Comments W.T.F



Name prince agarwal
Email agarwalprince21 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Aly
Email Camoaly at gmail dot com
Comments This was funny



Name madhuri
Email maddyvykunatm at gmail dot com
Comments super



Name marjorie
Email garinmar at usd260 dot com
Comments



Name Savannah Holmes
Email Savy dot holm at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Carlin
Email carlinmcd at hotmail dot com
Comments Yay i really happy that i took the challenge and stayed on



Name John george
Email Johngeorge995 at gmail dot com
Comments Follw me........



Name raj
Email nvernekar42 at gmail dot con
Comments hi



Name geetha
Email geetha12usha at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Ashok
Email Ashokboodle at gmail dot con
Comments Hi



Name Caleb
Email Bel.blanch@6 bigpond
Comments



Name Diana
Email dianaortiz517 at Yahoo dot com
Comments Follow me on instagram @dianaortxz



Name Samantha Guillen
Email Piegirl112000 at gmail dot com
Comments Hey I'm bored so I did this haha



Name Elise
Email greeney7788 at gmail dot com
Comments Bitches aint shit



Name Adrian
Email Adrian dot football at yahoo dot com
Comments 😂😂😂



Name Morgan poopface
Email Zimmermorgan at aol dot com
Comments That was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Name HILAAWSOME
Email hilary14@gmail com
Comments Haha



Name HILAAWSOME
Email hilary14@gmail com
Comments



Name Ain't happening
Email Sry not allowed to give it out
Comments Hahahaha good work but I freaking pressed back while reading comments I was like "agh! Screw this!!" Anyways... I really love this so keep it up and try and make a new one each time maybe?



Name Ain't happening
Email Sry not allowed to give it out
Comments Hahahaha good work but I freaking pressed back while reading comments I was like "agh! Screw this!!" Anyways... I really love this so keep it up and try and make a new one each time maybe?



Name ass
Email hell naw
Comments



Name Jena
Email Jena082702 at gmail dot com
Comments Fuck u



Name Devon Bratton
Email anastinabratton at yahoo dot complete
Comments



Name anon
Email GHing1948 at gustr dot com
Comments weak as hell bitch



Name Caitlin😂
Email Nahhboutdat.com
Comments That was boring af and a waste



Name Caitlin😂
Email Nahhboutdat.com
Comments That was boring af and a waste



Name Abby
Email abigail829 at comcast dot net
Comments



Name Fuck you
Email bitch plrade
Comments



Name Matt
Email mmp-school at hotmail dot com
Comments



Name Luke
Email Fake dot email at yournevergettingmyemail dot com
Comments That was aweful :(



Name Luke
Email Fake dot email at yournevergettingmyemail dot com
Comments That was aweful :(



Name Andy
Email Can't tell you, sorry.
Comments That was fun!! Let's do it again!



Name Afrah almas
Email almasafrah11 at gmail dot com
Comments Very creative... made me laugh and irritated me as well... but worth the time and ur effort... keep it up...



Name Miha shark
Email Miaurbani at gmail dot com
Comments That was a big waste of time syd😂



Name ummr
Email hi
Comments Whats up



Name jaden
Email Eilts
Comments this is hilarious😂😂😂



Name jo
Email chimejosie at yahoo dot com
Comments So much for curiosity ey...Lol



Name Stephen Markwalter
Email smark1009 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Biswajit Roy
Email biroy23 at gmail dot com
Comments hi



Name Biswajit Roy
Email biroy23 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Biswajit Roy
Email biroy23 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Libby
Email Libbyleagasmartin at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments Haahhah



Name laxman
Email 93939397
Comments



Name Sofia👊
Email Sofiaalmeida314 at gmail dot com
Comments Jade that was... The best common core lesson EVER!



Name Niita
Email Nikita dot 16 dot shahu at gmail dot com
Comments



Name neha
Email shamalbanage2105 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Austin
Email fairytatoast at gmail dot com
Comments What the hell is this .. I dont get it tho..



Name krishna yadav
Email abc123 at gmail dot com
Comments yu y



Name Samantha
Email Samjack1103 at icloud dot com
Comments Lol😂😂



Name kaelyn
Email kaelynreynolds814 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name kats
Email kathy dot emostar at gmail dot com
Comments



Name shruthi
Email venkateshshuba at gmail dot com
Comments Such a crazy one...ha ha haaaaa!!!



Name Chloe
Email Chloedatpenguin at gmail dot com
Comments wow..... Just...... Wow........
I really hate u😑



Name Indian mafia
Email indianmafia65 at Gmail dot com
Comments I will be back before you pronunce afjkhnfkualnfhukcakecnhkj.



Name Chloe
Email chloejones2002 at gmail dot com
Comments How funny was that😂



Name www.krishikesan.com
Email bvkrishi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Simran
Email Simran_Goraya530 at gmail dot com
Comments Hope you get anal warts



Name amaris
Email amaris dot saucedo at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name amaris
Email amaris dot saucedo at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Madi
Email Madijhadley at gmail dot com
Comments



Name sudhir
Email sudhirsinghrana dot 1212 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name eva
Email evafoss12 at gmail dot com
Comments Great waste of time. Very educational. XD



Name willow
Email nope
Comments I did this until the end just to see wat it was and this is all i get



Name Price
Email Phillipsprice at yahoo dot com
Comments This is fhnny



Name david
Email sloan
Comments



Name Ada
Email ada dot swasome at gmail dot com
Comments this is the best website EVER!!!! u r awesome! <3333=website



Name Hacked
Email ahacker at hackstoonpoint dot com
Comments Prevented using google chrome



Name Hacked
Email ahacker at hackstoonpoint dot com
Comments Prevented using google chrome



Name Laura Shands
Email lshands08 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name abby
Email sherrard dot ae at gmail dot com
Comments i hate this link 👊



Name alyssa
Email alyssamichelle at yahoo dot com
Comments that was fun



Name Sophie
Email Sophiedodd12345 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Booty
Email Bigass at gmail dot com
Comments Email me sick pics



Name suck my ass
Email nonoshsusksj at gmail dot com
Comments YOU ARE THE DEVIL



Name suck my ass
Email nonoshsusksj at gmail dot com
Comments YOU ARE THE DEVIL



Name Olivia
Email olivialeake7 at gmail dot com
Comments I hate this cause it shows how sad my life is, I actually found this fun!! Though I had to do it about 4 times before I could finally sign this guest book



Name haylee
Email hay1347 at hotmail dot com
Comments



Name 阴茎和乳房好一起去
Email 中国人有中国的电子邮件。
Comments 这是令人讨厌。作为一个中国人想要这个?糟透了。



Name Josh
Email Joshwthompson01 at gmail dot com
Comments This was incredibly retarded. Like I'm serious. WTF is wrong with this. But it was kinda funny lol.



Name wiz
Email wisdommulenga41 at gmail dot com
Comments u ova used my tym
..tried my patience
buh nt so bad an experience



Name dishas
Email subhasreesarkar2011 at gmail dot com
Comments It was perfectly annoying !!!!! But loved it



Name Leanna
Email LeannaKing at yahoo dot com
Comments Nice site. Find out how much we will pay you to talk about it or anything else at www.publicbulletinboards.com



Name imran khan
Email imranhurts at gmail dot com
Comments



Name sanjay
Email sanjaygomadi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Rachel
Email Lunaluver666 at gmail dot com
Comments I got here from ig



Name sneha
Email jayanthisneha5 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name harshada
Email harshadanerkar22 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name caroline
Email carolinecc at zilladog dot net
Comments



Name sreeshad
Email sreeshad88 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name johnson sam
Email johnsons979 at gmail dot com
Comments nyccc




Name mohammed shafi
Email meshafiborn4u at gmail dot com
Comments



Name ciril
Email ciril dot cv at gmail dot com
Comments Super macha...



Name ciril
Email ciril dot cv at gmail dot com
Comments Super macha...



Name kate
Email kateskye888 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name MuttaFvckre
Email Sexyanus666 at puebikehare dot org
Comments



Name MuttaFvckre
Email Sexyanus666 at puebikehare dot org
Comments



Name Raj Patel
Email rgpatel9 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Raj Patel
Email rgpatel9 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Praveen
Email pavya36 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name rakesh
Email bheemambikapetroleumsdambal at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Erin J
Email Erinjakson28 at yahoo dot com
Comments I hate this every time I do it



Name Lucas
Email U piece if shit I hate u now
Comments I though I would die u piece of shit



Name leno
Email Lopez Magdalen of gmail.com
Comments



Name Katie
Email Glamourfiah4eva at gmail dot com
Comments This is fantastic😂



Name Robert/connor
Email connoredler2002 at gmail dot com
Comments LoL😂😂😂



Name Robert/connor
Email connoredler2002 at gmail dot com
Comments LoL😂😂😂



Name maddie
Email maddiejewel dot mt at gmail dot com
Comments



Name yo it's baelee yo
Email baileymratliff at gmail dot com
Comments yo dis was pretty fuckin funny but after all I've been through, all that I get to do is sign a freakin guestbook or whatever? shit no!!!



Name Diego G
Email diegogilbert_11 at hotmail dot com
Comments That was annoying what was that supposed to be funny. Well its not anyways cool website. Took me like 2mins to get her but whatever ������✌✌



Name Diego G
Email diegogilbert_11 at hotmail dot com
Comments That was annoying what was that supposed to be funny. Well its not anyways cool website. Took me like 2mins to get her but whatever ������✌✌



Name Michael song
Email Michaelsong4 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name rukash
Email rushirukash_r at yahoo dot com
Comments Not at all funnnyyy....boringgggg



Name @!!ÿ
Email Jajshdjddkj at gmail dot com
Comments I ❤️ it



Name al
Email allyveley at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Malin
Email Malla04 at hotmail dot com
Comments



Name Izzie
Email Izziebarnett at outlook dot com
Comments



Name Magne
Email haugstad84 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Sophia Clarise
Email sclarisev at icloud dot com
Comments That was FFFFFFUUUUUUUNNNN -__-


I hate whoever made this🍌🍌



But it was hilarious... So I would give it a 7 1/2 out of 10



Name andrew maghanga
Email andrewmwambi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Joselyn.Alvarado
Email Joselyn_Alvarado15 at hotmail dot com
Comments



Name Keagan Jarvis
Email Keaganjarvis100 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name basisisisosisjd
Email goejgoieshnf
Comments kankerirritand kankerhomos




Name Maya
Email Mayaraem15 at hotmail dot com
Comments SO FUN😎😈



Name vishwapriya h
Email priyahdevadar dot 21 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Fuck u
Email Fuckuass at yahoo dot com
Comments Okay first off your a fucking stupid little kid this shit was gay as fuck! Wtf is your deal u little ass hole!!



Name vishal arora
Email vishal2014arora at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Daniel
Email Danielhaugen02 at gmail dot com
Comments Lol😂



Name sushmita gupta
Email sushmitagupta121 at gmail dot com
Comments Omg



Name Ariana Alysia Porras
Email aapagp at yahoo dot com
Comments this is funny 😂😂 lol I'm bomb 💓



Name kallista
Email kcapp521 at hotmail dot com
Comments kam is the selfie queen. okay? okay.



Name spathivchan
Email spathivchan at gmail dot com
Comments no comments




Name Apollo Justice & IM FINE!!!!
Email Poptartgoodnesa at gmail dot com
Comments I am smarter now thanks to this website.



Name Divine A. Vincent
Email Divinea at icloud dot come
Comments At first I thought this website where u play games when I found this in my friend's website on Instagram. Then, when I clicked it I just kept pressing the the "OK" wanting it to just stop! At first I quit when it got to the numbers, but then I decid to go back and see what happens. Well, it was a waste of my time😂😂😂 I thought if u acti finished it, you'll get a prize. But I was weong😂😂.



Name Chris bachman
Email chrisbachman64 at yahoo dot com
Comments it's lamemeee



Name Faith Madzey
Email fmadzey at cox dot net
Comments That thing where we kept have to push ok tool me like 20 minutes to get through!!!😂😂



Name Holly T
Email Hollyelizabeth2000 at gmail dot com
Comments I can't believe I put myself through that...



Name Joe
Email Joe at joemail dot com
Comments This is cool



Name MuttaFvckre
Email Sexyanus666 at puebikehare dot org
Comments P-mail (pigeon mail) me at Sexyanus666@puebikehare.org to win a free trip to the Bahamas!



Name Swagman
Email Swagman at Anus dot net
Comments E-snail me at swagman@anus.net



Name Rebecca
Email rebecca dot davey at mycw dot org
Comments lol
omg luv tht



Name Brayden
Email Braydenpop at yahoo dot com
Comments I hate you and your whole family



Name shelbyyy 💕
Email shelbyshelton123 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Poop
Email poop at gmail dot com
Comments Poop poop poop, poopy doop poop.



Name mahomed
Email momaro786 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Dorelyn 💎
Email dafuckwasthis at gmail dot com
Comments DFUQ👅💦



Name zoe a
Email andersonz at brpsk12 dot org
Comments



Name Shay-Lyn
Email thebigkid at hatmail dot com
Comments Wow you had to follow me on Twitter: eminem_1300
My Instagram: pewds_13



Name Eve
Email S
Comments Hahaha😂



Name Juan
Email syazwan dot ghassani at hotmail dot com
Comments hai



Name Fabit
Email Lol
Comments WHY



Name #### r is for robin
Email 929292gofuckurself at hotmail dot com
Comments i like rice



Name Karthik
Email a91karthik at gmail dot com
Comments



Name wanphrang
Email wanphrang16 at gmail dot com
Comments ✌👅



Name Ollie sage
Email Ur mum at Hotmail dot com
Comments Whyyyyyyyyyyy



Name Adam
Email Adammcgregor at icloud dot com
Comments I love this make some more it made me laugh 😂😂😂👍👍👌👌👌



Name anitha
Email saraani215 at gmail dot com
Comments smart



Name Latest Mobiles
Email mobilesbrands12 at gmail dot com
Comments Great Comments here by the people.



Name raj
Email rajhubli5 at gmail dot com
Comments aaaa



Name Spencer Forman
Email dick at gmail dot com
Comments Why?



Name My insta is @0.59
Email @0.59
Comments Snapchat:Selectings
Kik:Hufplants
Instagram:0.59




Name @0.59
Email hahbcsbca at yahoo dot com
Comments It took me a long time to get here, but i finally made it!



Name camryn
Email ocswimgirl72 at msn dot com
Comments this sucks.



Name kyla
Email heyhi at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments



Name Demi Clarke
Email Demix17 at outlook dot com
Comments This was sah funny! I made all my friends do it too.




Name kate
Email kateskye888 at gmail dot com
Comments www.e-fastloans2013y.co.uk/
www.getnocreditcheckloans.co.uk/
www.bestshorttermloanss.co.uk/
www.getsamedayloansonline.co.uk/
www.krystamonthtextloans.co.uk/
www.moneyworth.co.uk/
www.poundsbucket.co.uk/
www.24x7badcreditloans.co.uk/
www.guaranteedbestpaydayloans.co.uk
www.3x12monthpaydayloans.co.uk
www.24x7textloans-txt.co.uk
www.lowinterestloansonline.co.uk/




bills start to pile up and you are running out of financial resources to pay them on time. Most people resort in getting a cash advance loan in order to meet their financial obligations and to pay off monthly



Name habib
Email habeeb_ullah57 at gmail dot com
Comments i done it



Name Mr.A
Email Ankushkar319 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Mr.A
Email Ankushkar319 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Riakor
Email riadot com
Comments lah shu sep ei ka por leh dost



Name vny
Email vnyzhimo at gmail dot com
Comments Good.... I rly njoy



Name vny
Email vnyzhimo at gmail dot com
Comments Good.... I rly njoy



Name ciril
Email ciril dot cv at gmail dot com
Comments Super macha...




Name ciril
Email ciril dot cv at gmail dot com
Comments Super macha...




Name harshini joshi
Email sriharshini95 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name briyjdidjdhh
Email hi
Comments Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz



Name Izzy
Email Isabelle dot amaris at me dot com
Comments 😂



Name WHO DO YA THINK
Email Thisisstupid at derpydinosaur dot argh
Comments N-A-Y-U-S-T-U-Y



Name WHO DO YA THINK
Email Thisisstupid at derpydinosaur dot argh
Comments N-A-Y-U-S-T-U-Y



Name madison
Email maddy111222 at gmail dot com
Comments Love this... 👌



Name surryaa bhandari
Email debotosh71 at gmail dot com
Comments Go to hell......



Name Suzanna
Email Smkocis at gmail dot com
Comments I love this website 💕



Name Suzanna
Email Smkocis at gmail dot com
Comments I love this website 💕



Name Haley
Email Hdiedrich90 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name I'm a person
Email Not telling u
Comments



Name Someone Awesome
Email Nottellingyou at no dot com
Comments



Name Gigi
Email umm ok
Comments LOL what



Name Kenzie
Email omg
Comments I cannot believe you just put me through that!!!!!!!!



Name Kenzie
Email omg
Comments I cannot believe you just put me through that!!!!!!!!



Name Morgan
Email Wild0056 at yahoo dot com
Comments I hate you now loll jk



Name Angelina
Email ajbonacasa at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Aidan toland
Email @bruhthatwassolong
Comments It took me forever to do it but it was funny 👌😂



Name Grant
Email Grantbt at comcast dot net
Comments Your an asshole



Name Alliso n
Email Acmayon02 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Jacob
Email Letsgocaps11
Comments I love tacos!!!!🍻



Name Charlie
Email Charlietj750 at gmail dot com
Comments I have no life



Name Jacob Marquez
Email spicytaco59 at icloud dot com
Comments Hi



Name Your mom
Email Fdjdgsbshdhhxjxjdbsh at hdj their gene dot c0m
Comments Carson where have I gone wrong



Name joolz
Email joolzanfire at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments 10/10 would click again



Name Andrew
Email Asham
Comments I must say that was the most irrotating time of my life!! But some how I kind of enjoyed it.
I SURVIVED!
See you at school Aydin.



Name Andrew
Email Asham
Comments I must say that was the most irrotating time of my life!! But some how I kkind of enjoyed it.
I SURVIVED!!!!! 😃

NameFollow me on Instagram @Monsterenerge
Email
Comments
Name Harley😛🌸
Email harleycarroll0802 at gmail dot com
Comments Follow my Instagram @flyinqcats and tHIS WAS SO HILLARIOUS LIKE BRUH



Name Ellie
Email dontknow.gmail.com
Comments Peace ✌✌✌



Name that sucked
Email pinkpanther at gmail dot com
Comments that really sucked now im a hater but I don't care



Name Anvesh
Email anuguptha0120 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Lexi
Email Alexin at gemal dot com
Comments Loser Christian and I do Instagram
Snapchat
Kik
Rectaca




Name Dick
Email TheDick at yahoo dot com
Comments I am a dick



Name Lily-Rose Nicholson
Email lilypop33 at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments I am EPIC and...I'm Batman



Name Lily-Rose Nicholson
Email lilypop33 at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments I am EPIC and...I'm Batman



Name V
Email Pinkpanther at gmail dot com
Comments That sucked.



Name cjk
Email cjk at email dot w
Comments i madeit toda end



Name zayden
Email zaydengold at gmail dot com
Comments this was really long but funny and i bet i could annoy a lot of people with this so thanks



Name Ana Marina
Email marabiertocholula at yahoo dot com dot mx
Comments



Name Makaela
Email Makaelagroll at aol dot com
Comments Omg I honestly thought it would go on foreevvverrrr but then it ended . It's was super entertaining tho. XD



Name Makaela
Email Makaelagroll at aol dot com
Comments Omg I honestly thought it would go on foreevvverrrr but then it ended . It's was super entertaining tho. XD



Name Zarah
Email phatimah dot xahra at ymail dot com
Comments what d hecks!!!!! dis rily shows how curious d human mind can get



Name Zarah
Email phatimah dot xahra at ymail dot com
Comments what d hecks!!!!! dis rily shows how curious d human mind can get



Name Mrudul
Email mrudulg341 at gmail dot com
Comments Its a fun tym.. stress free...



Name Mrudul
Email mrudulg341 at gmail dot com
Comments Its a fun tym.. stress free...



Name Hanna
Email M
Comments Hhhhhhh



Name fghj
Email jjgg
Comments bh



Name Josh
Email Joshpalmer11 at aol dot con
Comments Boring




Name Adeel
Email Adeelhabib12345 at gmail dot com
Comments Safe vasi raza



Name Adeel
Email Adeelhabib12345 at gmail dot com
Comments Safe vasi raza



Name peter
Email pgatuna98 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name fghj
Email jjgg
Comments bh



Name Leslie
Email Maryrodriguez956 at gmail dot com
Comments This was the funniest but yet annoying thing ever.!😂😂



Name CASEY IS ALIVE
Email Idontgiveoutmyemail at hahahahahhahaha dot com
Comments That was cool



Name tatty
Email noneofyobidnes
Comments Wtffff



Name Ayyadurai
Email ayyadurai dot thhc at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Ayyadurai
Email ayyadurai dot thhc at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Ayyadurai
Email ayyadurai dot thhc at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Ayyadurai
Email ayyadurai dot thhc at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Cam
Email Chocolatelovescamille.com
Comments You is bae



Name Cam
Email Chocolatelovescamille.com
Comments You is bae



Name Cam
Email Chocolatelovescamille.com
Comments You is bae



Name Cam
Email Chocolatelovescamille.com
Comments



Name fghj
Email jjgg
Comments bh



Name 😂
Email my ass dot org
Comments omfg 😂



Name Jackson
Email Downs
Comments How you doing



Name Me
Email AmarrBrice at hotmail dot com
Comments Perfect for pissing people off



Name Alex
Email Cubicrube1 at gmail dot com
Comments Yay



Name Alex
Email Cubicrube1 at gmail dot com
Comments Yay



Name Alex
Email Cubicrube1 at gmail dot com
Comments Yay



Name Ashley
Email ashleyw9876 at gmail dot com
Comments That was funny yet frustrating!😂😂😄😄



Name Elani
Email Dd1m2m at aol dot com
Comments You will suffer and never stop



Name Brad
Email steward_bradley at yahoo dot com
Comments this pissed me off



Name Lonely
Email altaflone 607 at gmail dot com
Comments great




Name this will give you a boner
Email boner!!! at redtube dot com
Comments 💏 🚻







TOLD YOU THIS WILL GIVE YOU BONER!!!!!



Name this will give you a boner
Email boner!!! at redtube dot com
Comments 💏🙅



Name sar
Email sar dot engti at Facebook dot com
Comments



Name fukherriteintepussi
Email fukyoubish at gmail dot com
Comments this made me just keep pressing OK with out reading anything



Name Armani
Email armaniperez2001 at gmail dot com
Comments I Hate Ashley for showing this to me



Name lavanya
Email mounilavvi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name lavanya
Email mounilavvi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Caroline
Email Carolinegrzybowskiatgmail.com
Comments Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz



Name jordan altenburg
Email jordan dot altenburg69 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Joseph
Email s891054 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Zach
Email Ayers
Comments Sucked ass



Name alu batata
Email alu dot lelo at yahoo dot com
Comments Aluuuu le loooooooo kandaaaa leee loooooo



Name summer stiller
Email I dot want dot cok at gmail dot com
Comments I want cock



Name ajib
Email bersamamu
Comments



Name ajib
Email bersamamu
Comments



Name canine
Email yourmum at yahoo dot com
Comments touch me plz senpai, i love it



Name gaylord
Email urmom at loser dot com
Comments u suck lol



Name Alley
Email Arthuale at usd260 dot com
Comments



Name Victoria
Email dulockv at gmail dot com
Comments I honestly did not think this would end😂



Name Fabian
Email favh60@gmail
Comments



Name Rose
Email Belikov
Comments This was so funny! Even though I should be doing homework lol!



Name Caitlin
Email Caitlin at gmail dot com
Comments Ur beautiful



Name Serena Lawson
Email Slawson19 at petk12 dot org
Comments Muhahahhahaa



Name Adien
Email Adienmuler at gmail dot com
Comments I hate you



Name Brook Lovelace.
Email Brook Lovelace at verizon dot net
Comments



Name You'll never no
Email Whatever
Comments That was so retard like what come on now what da heck was that non-sence



Name Zane graham
Email Zane at sktc dot net
Comments Didn't expect a counting adventure or learning how to say the alphabet 😂😂😂



Name Your mother
Email anguspounderoranuspounder?
Comments Did anyone else get to the end?



Name Shantavia
Email Purpletavia at yahoo dot com
Comments That was utterly stupid



Name Phillip theadore Ellis counters pottatomas the 3 of the 52 llamas
Email Ptecpt3ot52l
Comments That was great fun



Name Phillip theadore Ellis counters pottatomas the 3 of the 52 llamas
Email Ptecpt3ot52l
Comments



Name Fish
Email Saffron dot house at hotmail dot com
Comments Fish



Name Nola Aier
Email changkirinola17 at gmail dot com
Comments This was stupid...and I fell for it....just so stupid..



Name Nola Aier
Email changkirinola17 at gmail dot com
Comments This was stupid...and I fell for it....just so stupid..



Name Suprav Roy
Email suprav16 at gmail dot com
Comments .........



Name SUPRAV ROY
Email suprav16 at gmail dot com
Comments .........



Name Stephen Griffin
Email barrygriffin at daddystrokes dot com
Comments I am gay



Name sai
Email saichaitanyavarma at gmail dot com dot com
Comments



Name om godambe
Email omrgodambe at gmail dot com
Comments cool



Name cole
Email slazgtr at gmail dot com
Comments this site makes me want to kill myself



Name cole
Email slazgtr at gmail dot com
Comments this site makes me want to kill myself



Name Superheadsmasher
Email neonsounds12 at gmail dot com
Comments HEY GUYS!



Name Allie
Email allie dot dasilva at hotmail dot ca
Comments Honestly don't know what I'm doing with my life...



Name Allie
Email allie dot dasilva at hotmail dot ca
Comments Honestly don't know what I'm doing with my life...



Name John Ruiz III
Email Johnruiz30303 at gmail dot com
Comments 😂😂😂👏👏👏



Name dude
Email dide
Comments Haha that was so funny



Name Bobby
Email Carlson
Comments Nooooo!!!!!!!!!!!'!




Name Issac Woolum
Email Issacwoolum78 at gmail dot com
Comments Best website ever



Name Tristan B
Email Tigerdragon59 at gmail dot com
Comments Why does this website exist?



Name grace
Email @nope
Comments :)



Name gaburrito
Email gaby at aol dot com
Comments this was torture



Name Jason
Email Clickthedot at google dot com
Comments It was fun add more things



Name Sierra janisch
Email Janischsierra at aol dot com
Comments That was so painful to stare at my screen and click.... Jk 👀



Name LLAMA GOD MATHAFACKAS
Email justin dot davis63 at aol dot com
Comments IM A LLAMA GOT A PROB SMD



Name Anal Me
Email fuckmyasshole69 at gmail dot com
Comments Fuck me?



Name Sam
Email Samqueen0216 at gmail dot com
Comments Love you



Name Emily!
Email elcsoccer03 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Me
Email www.intranet.com.email
Comments Yes I have a comment



Name Alyssa arreola😘😘
Email Alyssaarreola87 at gmail dot com
Comments This was really anoyying
Xoxo



Name Connor Ney 💁
Email cpney at indy dot rr dot com
Comments



Name Eddie
Email actimal at hotmail dot com
Comments Yaya



Name George
Email Fields
Comments lol pretty funny.



Name Weznon
Email waterwasp55555 at gmail dot com
Comments Pretty Funny.
Also The Game



Name zack
Email brosman
Comments



Name Drew rosie
Email Coolcat78902 at gmail dot com
Comments Fuck this



Name Someone
Email Kriskringlesantaclaus10 at gmail dot com
Comments That was very annoying. My friend sent me this link and told me about it. Actually very creepy.



Name Halima Khatun
Email halimaparveen8 at gmail dot com
Comments Really it's soooooo funny and exciting....



Name Halima Khatun
Email halimaparveen8 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Aman Raj Singh
Email amanraj94315 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name HYNA
Email hyzarnana at gmail dot com
Comments W.T.F



Name prince agarwal
Email agarwalprince21 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Aly
Email Camoaly at gmail dot com
Comments This was funny



Name madhuri
Email maddyvykunatm at gmail dot com
Comments super



Name marjorie
Email garinmar at usd260 dot com
Comments



Name Savannah Holmes
Email Savy dot holm at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Carlin
Email carlinmcd at hotmail dot com
Comments Yay i really happy that i took the challenge and stayed on



Name John george
Email Johngeorge995 at gmail dot com
Comments Follw me........



Name raj
Email nvernekar42 at gmail dot con
Comments hi



Name geetha
Email geetha12usha at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Ashok
Email Ashokboodle at gmail dot con
Comments Hi



Name Caleb
Email Bel.blanch@6 bigpond
Comments



Name Diana
Email dianaortiz517 at Yahoo dot com
Comments Follow me on instagram @dianaortxz



Name Samantha Guillen
Email Piegirl112000 at gmail dot com
Comments Hey I'm bored so I did this haha



Name Elise
Email greeney7788 at gmail dot com
Comments Bitches aint shit



Name Adrian
Email Adrian dot football at yahoo dot com
Comments 😂😂😂



Name Morgan poopface
Email Zimmermorgan at aol dot com
Comments That was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Name HILAAWSOME
Email hilary14@gmail com
Comments Haha



Name HILAAWSOME
Email hilary14@gmail com
Comments



Name Ain't happening
Email Sry not allowed to give it out
Comments Hahahaha good work but I freaking pressed back while reading comments I was like "agh! Screw this!!" Anyways... I really love this so keep it up and try and make a new one each time maybe?



Name Ain't happening
Email Sry not allowed to give it out
Comments Hahahaha good work but I freaking pressed back while reading comments I was like "agh! Screw this!!" Anyways... I really love this so keep it up and try and make a new one each time maybe?



Name ass
Email hell naw
Comments



Name Jena
Email Jena082702 at gmail dot com
Comments Fuck u



Name Devon Bratton
Email anastinabratton at yahoo dot complete
Comments



Name anon
Email GHing1948 at gustr dot com
Comments weak as hell bitch



Name Caitlin😂
Email Nahhboutdat.com
Comments That was boring af and a waste



Name Caitlin😂
Email Nahhboutdat.com
Comments That was boring af and a waste



Name Abby
Email abigail829 at comcast dot net
Comments



Name Fuck you
Email bitch plrade
Comments



Name Matt
Email mmp-school at hotmail dot com
Comments



Name Luke
Email Fake dot email at yournevergettingmyemail dot com
Comments That was aweful :(



Name Luke
Email Fake dot email at yournevergettingmyemail dot com
Comments That was aweful :(



Name Andy
Email Can't tell you, sorry.
Comments That was fun!! Let's do it again!



Name Afrah almas
Email almasafrah11 at gmail dot com
Comments Very creative... made me laugh and irritated me as well... but worth the time and ur effort... keep it up...



Name Miha shark
Email Miaurbani at gmail dot com
Comments That was a big waste of time syd😂



Name ummr
Email hi
Comments Whats up



Name jaden
Email Eilts
Comments this is hilarious😂😂😂



Name jo
Email chimejosie at yahoo dot com
Comments So much for curiosity ey...Lol



Name Stephen Markwalter
Email smark1009 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Biswajit Roy
Email biroy23 at gmail dot com
Comments hi



Name Biswajit Roy
Email biroy23 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Biswajit Roy
Email biroy23 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Libby
Email Libbyleagasmartin at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments Haahhah



Name laxman
Email 93939397
Comments



Name Sofia👊
Email Sofiaalmeida314 at gmail dot com
Comments Jade that was... The best common core lesson EVER!



Name Niita
Email Nikita dot 16 dot shahu at gmail dot com
Comments



Name neha
Email shamalbanage2105 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Austin
Email fairytatoast at gmail dot com
Comments What the hell is this .. I dont get it tho..



Name krishna yadav
Email abc123 at gmail dot com
Comments yu y



Name Samantha
Email Samjack1103 at icloud dot com
Comments Lol😂😂



Name kaelyn
Email kaelynreynolds814 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name kats
Email kathy dot emostar at gmail dot com
Comments



Name shruthi
Email venkateshshuba at gmail dot com
Comments Such a crazy one...ha ha haaaaa!!!



Name Chloe
Email Chloedatpenguin at gmail dot com
Comments wow..... Just...... Wow........
I really hate u😑



Name Indian mafia
Email indianmafia65 at Gmail dot com
Comments I will be back before you pronunce afjkhnfkualnfhukcakecnhkj.



Name Chloe
Email chloejones2002 at gmail dot com
Comments How funny was that😂



Name www.krishikesan.com
Email bvkrishi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Simran
Email Simran_Goraya530 at gmail dot com
Comments Hope you get anal warts



Name amaris
Email amaris dot saucedo at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name amaris
Email amaris dot saucedo at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Madi
Email Madijhadley at gmail dot com
Comments



Name sudhir
Email sudhirsinghrana dot 1212 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name eva
Email evafoss12 at gmail dot com
Comments Great waste of time. Very educational. XD



Name willow
Email nope
Comments I did this until the end just to see wat it was and this is all i get



Name Price
Email Phillipsprice at yahoo dot com
Comments This is fhnny



Name david
Email sloan
Comments



Name Ada
Email ada dot swasome at gmail dot com
Comments this is the best website EVER!!!! u r awesome! <3333=website



Name Hacked
Email ahacker at hackstoonpoint dot com
Comments Prevented using google chrome



Name Hacked
Email ahacker at hackstoonpoint dot com
Comments Prevented using google chrome



Name Laura Shands
Email lshands08 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name abby
Email sherrard dot ae at gmail dot com
Comments i hate this link 👊



Name alyssa
Email alyssamichelle at yahoo dot com
Comments that was fun



Name Sophie
Email Sophiedodd12345 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Booty
Email Bigass at gmail dot com
Comments Email me sick pics



Name suck my ass
Email nonoshsusksj at gmail dot com
Comments YOU ARE THE DEVIL



Name suck my ass
Email nonoshsusksj at gmail dot com
Comments YOU ARE THE DEVIL



Name Olivia
Email olivialeake7 at gmail dot com
Comments I hate this cause it shows how sad my life is, I actually found this fun!! Though I had to do it about 4 times before I could finally sign this guest book



Name haylee
Email hay1347 at hotmail dot com
Comments



Name 阴茎和乳房好一起去
Email 中国人有中国的电子邮件。
Comments 这是令人讨厌。作为一个中国人想要这个?糟透了。



Name Josh
Email Joshwthompson01 at gmail dot com
Comments This was incredibly retarded. Like I'm serious. WTF is wrong with this. But it was kinda funny lol.



Name wiz
Email wisdommulenga41 at gmail dot com
Comments u ova used my tym
..tried my patience
buh nt so bad an experience



Name dishas
Email subhasreesarkar2011 at gmail dot com
Comments It was perfectly annoying !!!!! But loved it



Name Leanna
Email LeannaKing at yahoo dot com
Comments Nice site. Find out how much we will pay you to talk about it or anything else at www.publicbulletinboards.com



Name imran khan
Email imranhurts at gmail dot com
Comments



Name sanjay
Email sanjaygomadi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Rachel
Email Lunaluver666 at gmail dot com
Comments I got here from ig



Name sneha
Email jayanthisneha5 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name harshada
Email harshadanerkar22 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name caroline
Email carolinecc at zilladog dot net
Comments



Name sreeshad
Email sreeshad88 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name johnson sam
Email johnsons979 at gmail dot com
Comments nyccc




Name mohammed shafi
Email meshafiborn4u at gmail dot com
Comments



Name ciril
Email ciril dot cv at gmail dot com
Comments Super macha...



Name ciril
Email ciril dot cv at gmail dot com
Comments Super macha...



Name kate
Email kateskye888 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name MuttaFvckre
Email Sexyanus666 at puebikehare dot org
Comments



Name MuttaFvckre
Email Sexyanus666 at puebikehare dot org
Comments



Name Raj Patel
Email rgpatel9 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Raj Patel
Email rgpatel9 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Praveen
Email pavya36 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name rakesh
Email bheemambikapetroleumsdambal at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Erin J
Email Erinjakson28 at yahoo dot com
Comments I hate this every time I do it



Name Lucas
Email U piece if shit I hate u now
Comments I though I would die u piece of shit



Name leno
Email Lopez Magdalen of gmail.com
Comments



Name Katie
Email Glamourfiah4eva at gmail dot com
Comments This is fantastic😂



Name Robert/connor
Email connoredler2002 at gmail dot com
Comments LoL😂😂😂



Name Robert/connor
Email connoredler2002 at gmail dot com
Comments LoL😂😂😂



Name maddie
Email maddiejewel dot mt at gmail dot com
Comments



Name yo it's baelee yo
Email baileymratliff at gmail dot com
Comments yo dis was pretty fuckin funny but after all I've been through, all that I get to do is sign a freakin guestbook or whatever? shit no!!!



Name Diego G
Email diegogilbert_11 at hotmail dot com
Comments That was annoying what was that supposed to be funny. Well its not anyways cool website. Took me like 2mins to get her but whatever ������✌✌



Name Diego G
Email diegogilbert_11 at hotmail dot com
Comments That was annoying what was that supposed to be funny. Well its not anyways cool website. Took me like 2mins to get her but whatever ������✌✌



Name Michael song
Email Michaelsong4 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name rukash
Email rushirukash_r at yahoo dot com
Comments Not at all funnnyyy....boringgggg



Name @!!ÿ
Email Jajshdjddkj at gmail dot com
Comments I ❤️ it



Name al
Email allyveley at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Malin
Email Malla04 at hotmail dot com
Comments



Name Izzie
Email Izziebarnett at outlook dot com
Comments



Name Magne
Email haugstad84 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Sophia Clarise
Email sclarisev at icloud dot com
Comments That was FFFFFFUUUUUUUNNNN -__-


I hate whoever made this🍌🍌



But it was hilarious... So I would give it a 7 1/2 out of 10



Name andrew maghanga
Email andrewmwambi at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Joselyn.Alvarado
Email Joselyn_Alvarado15 at hotmail dot com
Comments



Name Keagan Jarvis
Email Keaganjarvis100 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name basisisisosisjd
Email goejgoieshnf
Comments kankerirritand kankerhomos




Name Maya
Email Mayaraem15 at hotmail dot com
Comments SO FUN😎😈



Name vishwapriya h
Email priyahdevadar dot 21 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Fuck u
Email Fuckuass at yahoo dot com
Comments Okay first off your a fucking stupid little kid this shit was gay as fuck! Wtf is your deal u little ass hole!!



Name vishal arora
Email vishal2014arora at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Daniel
Email Danielhaugen02 at gmail dot com
Comments Lol😂



Name sushmita gupta
Email sushmitagupta121 at gmail dot com
Comments Omg



Name Ariana Alysia Porras
Email aapagp at yahoo dot com
Comments this is funny 😂😂 lol I'm bomb 💓



Name kallista
Email kcapp521 at hotmail dot com
Comments kam is the selfie queen. okay? okay.



Name spathivchan
Email spathivchan at gmail dot com
Comments no comments




Name Apollo Justice & IM FINE!!!!
Email Poptartgoodnesa at gmail dot com
Comments I am smarter now thanks to this website.



Name Divine A. Vincent
Email Divinea at icloud dot come
Comments At first I thought this website where u play games when I found this in my friend's website on Instagram. Then, when I clicked it I just kept pressing the the "OK" wanting it to just stop! At first I quit when it got to the numbers, but then I decid to go back and see what happens. Well, it was a waste of my time😂😂😂 I thought if u acti finished it, you'll get a prize. But I was weong😂😂.



Name Chris bachman
Email chrisbachman64 at yahoo dot com
Comments it's lamemeee



Name Faith Madzey
Email fmadzey at cox dot net
Comments That thing where we kept have to push ok tool me like 20 minutes to get through!!!😂😂



Name Holly T
Email Hollyelizabeth2000 at gmail dot com
Comments I can't believe I put myself through that...



Name Joe
Email Joe at joemail dot com
Comments This is cool



Name MuttaFvckre
Email Sexyanus666 at puebikehare dot org
Comments P-mail (pigeon mail) me at Sexyanus666@puebikehare.org to win a free trip to the Bahamas!



Name Swagman
Email Swagman at Anus dot net
Comments E-snail me at swagman@anus.net



Name Rebecca
Email rebecca dot davey at mycw dot org
Comments lol
omg luv tht



Name Brayden
Email Braydenpop at yahoo dot com
Comments I hate you and your whole family



Name shelbyyy 💕
Email shelbyshelton123 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Poop
Email poop at gmail dot com
Comments Poop poop poop, poopy doop poop.



Name mahomed
Email momaro786 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Dorelyn 💎
Email dafuckwasthis at gmail dot com
Comments DFUQ👅💦



Name zoe a
Email andersonz at brpsk12 dot org
Comments



Name Shay-Lyn
Email thebigkid at hatmail dot com
Comments Wow you had to follow me on Twitter: eminem_1300
My Instagram: pewds_13



Name Eve
Email S
Comments Hahaha😂



Name Juan
Email syazwan dot ghassani at hotmail dot com
Comments hai



Name Fabit
Email Lol
Comments WHY



Name #### r is for robin
Email 929292gofuckurself at hotmail dot com
Comments i like rice



Name Karthik
Email a91karthik at gmail dot com
Comments



Name wanphrang
Email wanphrang16 at gmail dot com
Comments ✌👅



Name Ollie sage
Email Ur mum at Hotmail dot com
Comments Whyyyyyyyyyyy



Name Adam
Email Adammcgregor at icloud dot com
Comments I love this make some more it made me laugh 😂😂😂👍👍👌👌👌



Name anitha
Email saraani215 at gmail dot com
Comments smart



Name Latest Mobiles
Email mobilesbrands12 at gmail dot com
Comments Great Comments here by the people.



Name raj
Email rajhubli5 at gmail dot com
Comments aaaa



Name Spencer Forman
Email dick at gmail dot com
Comments Why?



Name My insta is @0.59
Email @0.59
Comments Snapchat:Selectings
Kik:Hufplants
Instagram:0.59




Name @0.59
Email hahbcsbca at yahoo dot com
Comments It took me a long time to get here, but i finally made it!



Name camryn
Email ocswimgirl72 at msn dot com
Comments this sucks.



Name kyla
Email heyhi at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments



Name Demi Clarke
Email Demix17 at outlook dot com
Comments This was sah funny! I made all my friends do it too.




Name kate
Email kateskye888 at gmail dot com
Comments www.e-fastloans2013y.co.uk/
www.getnocreditcheckloans.co.uk/
www.bestshorttermloanss.co.uk/
www.getsamedayloansonline.co.uk/
www.krystamonthtextloans.co.uk/
www.moneyworth.co.uk/
www.poundsbucket.co.uk/
www.24x7badcreditloans.co.uk/
www.guaranteedbestpaydayloans.co.uk
www.3x12monthpaydayloans.co.uk
www.24x7textloans-txt.co.uk
www.lowinterestloansonline.co.uk/




bills start to pile up and you are running out of financial resources to pay them on time. Most people resort in getting a cash advance loan in order to meet their financial obligations and to pay off monthly



Name habib
Email habeeb_ullah57 at gmail dot com
Comments i done it



Name Mr.A
Email Ankushkar319 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Mr.A
Email Ankushkar319 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Riakor
Email riadot com
Comments lah shu sep ei ka por leh dost



Name vny
Email vnyzhimo at gmail dot com
Comments Good.... I rly njoy



Name vny
Email vnyzhimo at gmail dot com
Comments Good.... I rly njoy



Name ciril
Email ciril dot cv at gmail dot com
Comments Super macha...




Name ciril
Email ciril dot cv at gmail dot com
Comments Super macha...




Name harshini joshi
Email sriharshini95 at gmail dot com
Comments



Name briyjdidjdhh
Email hi
Comments Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz



Name Izzy
Email Isabelle dot amaris at me dot com
Comments 😂



Name WHO DO YA THINK
Email Thisisstupid at derpydinosaur dot argh
Comments N-A-Y-U-S-T-U-Y



Name WHO DO YA THINK
Email Thisisstupid at derpydinosaur dot argh
Comments N-A-Y-U-S-T-U-Y



Name madison
Email maddy111222 at gmail dot com
Comments Love this... 👌



Name surryaa bhandari
Email debotosh71 at gmail dot com
Comments Go to hell......



Name Suzanna
Email Smkocis at gmail dot com
Comments I love this website 💕



Name Suzanna
Email Smkocis at gmail dot com
Comments I love this website 💕



Name Haley
Email Hdiedrich90 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name I'm a person
Email Not telling u
Comments



Name Someone Awesome
Email Nottellingyou at no dot com
Comments



Name Gigi
Email umm ok
Comments LOL what



Name Kenzie
Email omg
Comments I cannot believe you just put me through that!!!!!!!!



Name Kenzie
Email omg
Comments I cannot believe you just put me through that!!!!!!!!



Name Morgan
Email Wild0056 at yahoo dot com
Comments I hate you now loll jk



Name Angelina
Email ajbonacasa at gmail dot com
Comments



Name Aidan toland
Email @bruhthatwassolong
Comments It took me forever to do it but it was funny 👌😂



Name Grant
Email Grantbt at comcast dot net
Comments Your an asshole



Name Alliso n
Email Acmayon02 at yahoo dot com
Comments



Name Jacob
Email Letsgocaps11
Comments I love tacos!!!!🍻



Name Charlie
Email Charlietj750 at gmail dot com
Comments I have no life



Name Jacob Marquez
Email spicytaco59 at icloud dot com
Comments Hi



Name Your mom
Email Fdjdgsbshdhhxjxjdbsh at hdj their gene dot c0m
Comments Carson where have I gone wrong



Name joolz
Email joolzanfire at hotmail dot co dot uk
Comments 10/10 would click again



Name Andrew
Email Asham
Comments I must say that was the most irrotating time of my life!! But some how I kind of enjoyed it.
I SURVIVED!
See you at school Aydin.



Name Andrew
Email Asham
Comments I must say that was the most irrotating time of my life!! But some how I kkind of enjoyed it.
I SURVIVED!!!!! 😃

Nameƒc
Emailƒc
CommentsFollow @Monsterenerge On Instagram

NameHarley😛🌸
Email
CommentsFollow my Instagram @flyinqcats and tHIS WAS SO HILLARIOUS LIKE BRUH

NameEllie
Emaildontknow.gmail.com
CommentsPeace ✌✌✌

Namethat sucked
Email
Commentsthat really sucked now im a hater but I don't care

NameAnvesh
Email
Comments

NameLexi
Email
CommentsLoser Christian and I do Instagram
Snapchat
Kik
Rectaca

NameDick
Email
CommentsI am a dick

NameLily-Rose Nicholson
Email
CommentsI am EPIC and...I'm Batman

NameLily-Rose Nicholson
Email
CommentsI am EPIC and...I'm Batman

NameV
Email
CommentsThat sucked.

Namecjk
Email
Commentsi madeit toda end

Namezayden
Email
Commentsthis was really long but funny and i bet i could annoy a lot of people with this so thanks

NameAna Marina
Email
Comments

NameMakaela
Email
CommentsOmg I honestly thought it would go on foreevvverrrr but then it ended . It's was super entertaining tho. XD

NameMakaela
Email
CommentsOmg I honestly thought it would go on foreevvverrrr but then it ended . It's was super entertaining tho. XD

NameZarah
Email
Commentswhat d hecks!!!!! dis rily shows how curious d human mind can get

NameZarah
Email
Commentswhat d hecks!!!!! dis rily shows how curious d human mind can get

NameMrudul
Email
CommentsIts a fun tym.. stress free...

NameMrudul
Email
CommentsIts a fun tym.. stress free...

NameHanna
EmailM
CommentsHhhhhhh

Namefghj
Emailjjgg
Commentsbh

NameJosh
Email
CommentsBoring

NameAdeel
Email
CommentsSafe vasi raza

NameAdeel
Email
CommentsSafe vasi raza

Namepeter
Email
Comments

Namefghj
Emailjjgg
Commentsbh

NameLeslie
Email
CommentsThis was the funniest but yet annoying thing ever.!😂😂

NameCASEY IS ALIVE
Email
CommentsThat was cool

Nametatty
Emailnoneofyobidnes
CommentsWtffff

NameAyyadurai
Email
Comments

NameAyyadurai
Email
Comments

NameAyyadurai
Email
Comments

NameAyyadurai
Email
Comments

NameCam
EmailChocolatelovescamille.com
CommentsYou is bae

NameCam
EmailChocolatelovescamille.com
CommentsYou is bae

NameCam
EmailChocolatelovescamille.com
CommentsYou is bae

NameCam
EmailChocolatelovescamille.com
Comments

Namefghj
Emailjjgg
Commentsbh

Name😂
Emailmy ass dot org
Commentsomfg 😂

NameJackson
EmailDowns
CommentsHow you doing

NameMe
Email
CommentsPerfect for pissing people off

NameAlex
Email
CommentsYay

NameAlex
Email
CommentsYay

NameAlex
Email
CommentsYay

NameAshley
Email
CommentsThat was funny yet frustrating!😂😂😄😄

NameElani
Email
CommentsYou will suffer and never stop

NameBrad
Email
Commentsthis pissed me off

NameLonely
Email
Commentsgreat

Namethis will give you a boner
Email
Comments💏 🚻







TOLD YOU THIS WILL GIVE YOU BONER!!!!!

Namethis will give you a boner
Email
Comments💏🙅

Namesar
Email
Comments

Namefukherriteintepussi
Email
Commentsthis made me just keep pressing OK with out reading anything

NameArmani
Email
CommentsI Hate Ashley for showing this to me

Namelavanya
Email
Comments

Namelavanya
Email
Comments

NameCaroline
EmailCarolinegrzybowskiatgmail.com
CommentsAbcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Namejordan altenburg
Email
Comments

NameJoseph
Email
Comments

NameZach
EmailAyers
CommentsSucked ass

Namealu batata
Email
CommentsAluuuu le loooooooo kandaaaa leee loooooo

Namesummer stiller
Email
CommentsI want cock

Nameajib
Emailbersamamu
Comments

Nameajib
Emailbersamamu
Comments

Namecanine
Email
Commentstouch me plz senpai, i love it

Namegaylord
Email
Commentsu suck lol

NameAlley
Email
Comments

NameVictoria
Email
CommentsI honestly did not think this would end😂

NameFabian
Emailfavh60@gmail
Comments

NameRose
EmailBelikov
CommentsThis was so funny! Even though I should be doing homework lol!

NameCaitlin
Email
CommentsUr beautiful

NameSerena Lawson
Email
CommentsMuhahahhahaa

NameAdien
Email
CommentsI hate you

NameBrook Lovelace.
Email
Comments

NameYou'll never no
EmailWhatever
CommentsThat was so retard like what come on now what da heck was that non-sence

NameZane graham
Email
CommentsDidn't expect a counting adventure or learning how to say the alphabet 😂😂😂

NameYour mother
Emailanguspounderoranuspounder?
CommentsDid anyone else get to the end?

NameShantavia
Email
CommentsThat was utterly stupid

NamePhillip theadore Ellis counters pottatomas the 3 of the 52 llamas
EmailPtecpt3ot52l
CommentsThat was great fun

NamePhillip theadore Ellis counters pottatomas the 3 of the 52 llamas
EmailPtecpt3ot52l
Comments

NameFish
Email
CommentsFish

NameNola Aier
Email
CommentsThis was stupid...and I fell for it....just so stupid..

NameNola Aier
Email
CommentsThis was stupid...and I fell for it....just so stupid..

NameSuprav Roy
Email
Comments.........

NameSUPRAV ROY
Email
Comments.........

NameStephen Griffin
Email
CommentsI am gay

Namesai
Email
Comments

Nameom godambe
Email
Commentscool

Namecole
Email
Commentsthis site makes me want to kill myself

Namecole
Email
Commentsthis site makes me want to kill myself

NameSuperheadsmasher
Email
CommentsHEY GUYS!

NameAllie
Email
CommentsHonestly don't know what I'm doing with my life...

NameAllie
Email
CommentsHonestly don't know what I'm doing with my life...

NameJohn Ruiz III
Email
Comments😂😂😂👏👏👏

Namedude
Emaildide
CommentsHaha that was so funny

NameBobby
EmailCarlson
CommentsNooooo!!!!!!!!!!!'!

NameIssac Woolum
Email
CommentsBest website ever

NameTristan B
Email
CommentsWhy does this website exist?

Namegrace
Email@nope
Comments:)

Namegaburrito
Email
Commentsthis was torture

NameJason
Email
CommentsIt was fun add more things

NameSierra janisch
Email
CommentsThat was so painful to stare at my screen and click.... Jk 👀

NameLLAMA GOD MATHAFACKAS
Email
CommentsIM A LLAMA GOT A PROB SMD

NameAnal Me
Email
CommentsFuck me?

NameSam
Email
CommentsLove you

NameEmily!
Email
Comments

NameMe
Emailwww.intranet.com.email
CommentsYes I have a comment

NameAlyssa arreola😘😘
Email
CommentsThis was really anoyying
Xoxo

NameConnor Ney 💁
Email
Comments

NameEddie
Email
CommentsYaya

NameGeorge
EmailFields
Commentslol pretty funny.

NameWeznon
Email
CommentsPretty Funny.
Also The Game

Namezack
Emailbrosman
Comments

NameDrew rosie
Email
CommentsFuck this

NameSomeone
Email
CommentsThat was very annoying. My friend sent me this link and told me about it. Actually very creepy.

NameHalima Khatun
Email
CommentsReally it's soooooo funny and exciting....

NameHalima Khatun
Email
Comments

NameAman Raj Singh
Email
Comments

NameHYNA
Email
CommentsW.T.F

Nameprince agarwal
Email
Comments

NameAly
Email
CommentsThis was funny

Namemadhuri
Email
Commentssuper

Namemarjorie
Email
Comments

NameSavannah Holmes
Email
Comments

NameCarlin
Email
CommentsYay i really happy that i took the challenge and stayed on

NameJohn george
Email
CommentsFollw me........

Nameraj
Email
Commentshi

Namegeetha
Email
Comments

NameAshok
Email
CommentsHi

NameCaleb
EmailBel.blanch@6 bigpond
Comments

NameDiana
Email
CommentsFollow me on instagram @dianaortxz

NameSamantha Guillen
Email
CommentsHey I'm bored so I did this haha

NameElise
Email
CommentsBitches aint shit

NameAdrian
Email
Comments😂😂😂

NameMorgan poopface
Email
CommentsThat was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NameHILAAWSOME
Emailhilary14@gmail com
CommentsHaha

NameHILAAWSOME
Emailhilary14@gmail com
Comments

NameAin't happening
EmailSry not allowed to give it out
CommentsHahahaha good work but I freaking pressed back while reading comments I was like "agh! Screw this!!" Anyways... I really love this so keep it up and try and make a new one each time maybe?

NameAin't happening
EmailSry not allowed to give it out
CommentsHahahaha good work but I freaking pressed back while reading comments I was like "agh! Screw this!!" Anyways... I really love this so keep it up and try and make a new one each time maybe?

Nameass
Emailhell naw
Comments

NameJena
Email
CommentsFuck u

NameDevon Bratton
Email
Comments

Nameanon
Email
Commentsweak as hell bitch

NameCaitlin😂
EmailNahhboutdat.com
CommentsThat was boring af and a waste

NameCaitlin😂
EmailNahhboutdat.com
CommentsThat was boring af and a waste

NameAbby
Email
Comments

NameFuck you
Emailbitch plrade
Comments

NameMatt
Email
Comments

NameLuke
Email
CommentsThat was aweful :(

NameLuke
Email
CommentsThat was aweful :(

NameAndy
EmailCan't tell you, sorry.
CommentsThat was fun!! Let's do it again!

NameAfrah almas
Email
CommentsVery creative... made me laugh and irritated me as well... but worth the time and ur effort... keep it up...

NameMiha shark
Email
CommentsThat was a big waste of time syd😂

Nameummr
Emailhi
CommentsWhats up

Namejaden
EmailEilts
Commentsthis is hilarious😂😂😂

Namejo
Email
CommentsSo much for curiosity ey...Lol

NameStephen Markwalter
Email
Comments

NameBiswajit Roy
Email
Commentshi

NameBiswajit Roy
Email
Comments

NameBiswajit Roy
Email
Comments

NameLibby
Email
CommentsHaahhah

Namelaxman
Email93939397
Comments

NameSofia👊
Email
CommentsJade that was... The best common core lesson EVER!

NameNiita
Email
Comments

Nameneha
Email
Comments

NameAustin
Email
CommentsWhat the hell is this .. I dont get it tho..

Namekrishna yadav
Email
Commentsyu y

NameSamantha
Email
CommentsLol😂😂

Namekaelyn
Email
Comments

Namekats
Email
Comments

Nameshruthi
Email
CommentsSuch a crazy one...ha ha haaaaa!!!

NameChloe
Email
Commentswow..... Just...... Wow........
I really hate u😑

NameIndian mafia
Email
CommentsI will be back before you pronunce afjkhnfkualnfhukcakecnhkj.

NameChloe
Email
CommentsHow funny was that😂

Namewww.krishikesan.com
Email
Comments

NameSimran
Email
CommentsHope you get anal warts

Nameamaris
Email
Comments

Nameamaris
Email
Comments

NameMadi
Email
Comments

Namesudhir
Email
Comments

Nameeva
Email
CommentsGreat waste of time. Very educational. XD

Namewillow
Emailnope
CommentsI did this until the end just to see wat it was and this is all i get

NamePrice
Email
CommentsThis is fhnny

Namedavid
Emailsloan
Comments

NameAda
Email
Commentsthis is the best website EVER!!!! u r awesome! <3333=website

NameHacked
Email
CommentsPrevented using google chrome

NameHacked
Email
CommentsPrevented using google chrome

NameLaura Shands
Email
Comments

Nameabby
Email
Commentsi hate this link 👊

Namealyssa
Email
Commentsthat was fun

NameSophie
Email
Comments

NameBooty
Email
CommentsEmail me sick pics

Namesuck my ass
Email
CommentsYOU ARE THE DEVIL

Namesuck my ass
Email
CommentsYOU ARE THE DEVIL

NameOlivia
Email
CommentsI hate this cause it shows how sad my life is, I actually found this fun!! Though I had to do it about 4 times before I could finally sign this guest book

Namehaylee
Email
Comments

Name阴茎和乳房好一起去
Email中国人有中国的电子邮件。
Comments这是令人讨厌。作为一个中国人想要这个?糟透了。

NameJosh
Email
CommentsThis was incredibly retarded. Like I'm serious. WTF is wrong with this. But it was kinda funny lol.

Namewiz
Email
Commentsu ova used my tym
..tried my patience
buh nt so bad an experience

Namedishas
Email
CommentsIt was perfectly annoying !!!!! But loved it

NameLeanna
Email
CommentsNice site. Find out how much we will pay you to talk about it or anything else at www.publicbulletinboards.com

Nameimran khan
Email
Comments

Namesanjay
Email
Comments

NameRachel
Email
CommentsI got here from ig

Namesneha
Email
Comments

Nameharshada
Email
Comments

Namecaroline
Email
Comments

Namesreeshad
Email
Comments

Namejohnson sam
Email
Commentsnyccc

Namemohammed shafi
Email
Comments

Nameciril
Emailciril dot cv at gmail dot com
CommentsSuper macha...

Nameciril
Email
CommentsSuper macha...

Namekate
Emailkateskye888 at gmail dot com
Comments

NameMuttaFvckre
Email
Comments

NameMuttaFvckre
Email
Comments

NameRaj Patel
Emailrgpatel9 at gmail dot com
Comments

NameRaj Patel
Email
Comments

NamePraveen
Email
Comments

Namerakesh
Email
Comments

NameErin J
Email
CommentsI hate this every time I do it

NameLucas
EmailU piece if shit I hate u now
CommentsI though I would die u piece of shit

Nameleno
EmailLopez Magdalen of gmail.com
Comments

NameKatie
Email
CommentsThis is fantastic😂

NameRobert/connor
Emailconnoredler2002 at gmail dot com
CommentsLoL😂😂😂

NameRobert/connor
Emailconnoredler2002 at gmail dot com
CommentsLoL😂😂😂

Namemaddie
Email
Comments

Nameyo it's baelee yo
Email
Commentsyo dis was pretty fuckin funny but after all I've been through, all that I get to do is sign a freakin guestbook or whatever? shit no!!!

NameDiego G
Email
CommentsThat was annoying what was that supposed to be funny. Well its not anyways cool website. Took me like 2mins to get her but whatever ������✌✌

NameDiego G
Email
CommentsThat was annoying what was that supposed to be funny. Well its not anyways cool website. Took me like 2mins to get her but whatever ������✌✌

NameMichael song
Email
Comments

Namerukash
Email
CommentsNot at all funnnyyy....boringgggg

Name@!!ÿ
Email
CommentsI ❤️ it

Nameal
Email
Comments

NameMalin
Email
Comments

NameIzzie
Email
Comments

NameMagne
Email
Comments

NameSophia Clarise
Email
CommentsThat was FFFFFFUUUUUUUNNNN -__-


I hate whoever made this🍌🍌



But it was hilarious... So I would give it a 7 1/2 out of 10

Nameandrew maghanga
Email
Comments

NameJoselyn.Alvarado
Email
Comments

NameKeagan Jarvis
Email
Comments

Namebasisisisosisjd
Emailgoejgoieshnf
Commentskankerirritand kankerhomos

NameMaya
Email
CommentsSO FUN😎😈

Namevishwapriya h
Email
Comments

NameFuck u
Email
CommentsOkay first off your a fucking stupid little kid this shit was gay as fuck! Wtf is your deal u little ass hole!!

Namevishal arora
Email
Comments

NameDaniel
Email
CommentsLol😂

Namesushmita gupta
Email
CommentsOmg

NameAriana Alysia Porras
Email
Commentsthis is funny 😂😂 lol I'm bomb 💓

Namekallista
Email
Commentskam is the selfie queen. okay? okay.

Namespathivchan
Email
Commentsno comments

NameApollo Justice & IM FINE!!!!
Email
CommentsI am smarter now thanks to this website.

NameDivine A. Vincent
Email
CommentsAt first I thought this website where u play games when I found this in my friend's website on Instagram. Then, when I clicked it I just kept pressing the the "OK" wanting it to just stop! At first I quit when it got to the numbers, but then I decid to go back and see what happens. Well, it was a waste of my time😂😂😂 I thought if u acti finished it, you'll get a prize. But I was weong😂😂.

NameChris bachman
Email
Commentsit's lamemeee

NameFaith Madzey
Email
CommentsThat thing where we kept have to push ok tool me like 20 minutes to get through!!!😂😂

NameHolly T
Email
CommentsI can't believe I put myself through that...

NameJoe
Email
CommentsThis is cool

NameMuttaFvckre
Email
CommentsP-mail (pigeon mail) me at Sexyanus666@puebikehare.org to win a free trip to the Bahamas!

NameSwagman
Email
CommentsE-snail me at swagman@anus.net

NameRebecca
Email
Commentslol
omg luv tht

NameBrayden
Email
CommentsI hate you and your whole family

Nameshelbyyy 💕
Email
Comments

NamePoop
Email
CommentsPoop poop poop, poopy doop poop.

Namemahomed
Email
Comments

NameDorelyn 💎
Email
CommentsDFUQ👅💦

Namezoe a
Email
Comments

NameShay-Lyn
Email
CommentsWow you had to follow me on Twitter: eminem_1300
My Instagram: pewds_13

NameEve
EmailS
CommentsHahaha😂

NameJuan
Email
Commentshai

NameFabit
EmailLol
CommentsWHY

Name#### r is for robin
Email
Commentsi like rice

NameKarthik
Email
Comments

Namewanphrang
Email
Comments✌👅

NameOllie sage
EmailUr mum at Hotmail dot com
CommentsWhyyyyyyyyyyy

NameAdam
Email
CommentsI love this make some more it made me laugh 😂😂😂👍👍👌👌👌

Nameanitha
Email
Commentssmart

NameLatest Mobiles
Email
CommentsGreat Comments here by the people.

Nameraj
Email
Commentsaaaa

NameSpencer Forman
Email
CommentsWhy?

NameMy insta is @0.59
Email@0.59
CommentsSnapchat:Selectings
Kik:Hufplants
Instagram:0.59

Name@0.59
Email
CommentsIt took me a long time to get here, but i finally made it!

Namecamryn
Email
Commentsthis sucks.

Namekyla
Email
Comments

NameDemi Clarke
Email
CommentsThis was sah funny! I made all my friends do it too.

Namekate
Email
Commentswww.e-fastloans2013y.co.uk/
www.getnocreditcheckloans.co.uk/
www.bestshorttermloanss.co.uk/
www.getsamedayloansonline.co.uk/
www.krystamonthtextloans.co.uk/
www.moneyworth.co.uk/
www.poundsbucket.co.uk/
www.24x7badcreditloans.co.uk/
www.guaranteedbestpaydayloans.co.uk
www.3x12monthpaydayloans.co.uk
www.24x7textloans-txt.co.uk
www.lowinterestloansonline.co.uk/




bills start to pile up and you are running out of financial resources to pay them on time. Most people resort in getting a cash advance loan in order to meet their financial obligations and to pay off monthly

Namehabib
Email
Commentsi done it

NameMr.A
Email
Comments

NameMr.A
Email
Comments

NameRiakor
Emailriadot com
Commentslah shu sep ei ka por leh dost

Namevny
Email
CommentsGood.... I rly njoy

Namevny
Email
CommentsGood.... I rly njoy

Nameciril
Email
CommentsSuper macha...

Nameciril
Email
CommentsSuper macha...

Nameharshini joshi
Email
Comments

Namebriyjdidjdhh
Emailhi
CommentsAbcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

NameIzzy
Email
Comments😂

NameWHO DO YA THINK
Email
CommentsN-A-Y-U-S-T-U-Y

NameWHO DO YA THINK
Email
CommentsN-A-Y-U-S-T-U-Y

Namemadison
Email
CommentsLove this... 👌

Namesurryaa bhandari
Email
CommentsGo to hell......

NameSuzanna
Email
CommentsI love this website 💕

NameSuzanna
Email
CommentsI love this website 💕

NameHaley
Email
Comments

NameI'm a person
EmailNot telling u
Comments

NameSomeone Awesome
Email
Comments

NameGigi
Emailumm ok
CommentsLOL what

NameKenzie
Emailomg
CommentsI cannot believe you just put me through that!!!!!!!!

NameKenzie
Emailomg
CommentsI cannot believe you just put me through that!!!!!!!!

NameMorgan
Email
CommentsI hate you now loll jk

NameAngelina
Email
Comments

NameAidan toland
Email@bruhthatwassolong
CommentsIt took me forever to do it but it was funny 👌😂

NameGrant
Email
CommentsYour an asshole

NameAlliso n
Email
Comments

NameJacob
EmailLetsgocaps11
CommentsI love tacos!!!!🍻

NameCharlie
Email
CommentsI have no life

NameJacob Marquez
Email
CommentsHi

NameYour mom
Email
CommentsCarson where have I gone wrong

Namejoolz
Email
Comments10/10 would click again

NameAndrew
EmailAsham
CommentsI must say that was the most irrotating time of my life!! But some how I kind of enjoyed it.
I SURVIVED!
See you at school Aydin.

NameAndrew
EmailAsham
CommentsI must say that was the most irrotating time of my life!! But some how I kkind of enjoyed it.
I SURVIVED!!!!! 😃
See you at school Aydin.

NameHeidi
Email
Comments

NameTaine
Email
CommentsI survived

Nametolman
Email
Comments

NameDiksha Agarwal
Email
CommentsWhat ws this

NamePadmini
Email
Comments

NameRoberto acosta
Email
CommentsEsta entretenido la vdd pero siento que tenía que tener algo mas

NameRenuka
Email
Comments

NameHannah
Email
Comments

Nameshyam sundar
Email
CommentsBeing human

NameMaddie
Email
CommentsThat was pretty fun you should do more it kept me from not being bored so thanks😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😜😜😜😜😜😜

NameVenu
Email
Comments

Namefoxx
Email
Comments

Namesrivel
Email
Commentshi

NameAakash
Email
CommentsWaste of time....!

NameRajesh
Email
Comments

Nameprathamesh shelar
Email
Comments

Nameprathamesh shelar
Email
Comments

NameRivu Biswas
Email
Comments

NameBen Greenwood
Email
CommentsYEET

Namenitesh
Email
Comments

Nameyourwish
Email
Commentswow , , amazing and also wasting my time also but i like it .........and also after finish i laugh

Nameelary
Email
Commentshell yah....

NameKayla
Email
CommentsYou rock!

NameKael higgins
Email
CommentsHahhaha that was so funny I actualy light out loud!!!😂😂😂

NameFrancisco
Email
Comments

NameJoshua law
Email
CommentsWow. All I can say is wow.

Nameadrian
Email
CommentsTIP:USE CHROME

NameMyranda
Email
Comments💁

NameKatelin
Email
CommentsIts not a real email

NameHey
Email
Comments:) Luv u all!

NameAnna
Email
CommentsThat was really annoying

Namelupito
Email
Comments

NameZainab
Email
CommentsErmmmm...confused here....?

NameZara
Emailim not putting this on here
Commentsyou suck ass

Namewow
Emailwhy
CommentsFuck you.

NameFaith Lee
Email
CommentsHeeellllllooooooo

Namejamiel lee
Email
CommentsHey click ok

NameAlayah
Email
Commentsssshsklakagsfgfihagvfkvhailyhfvsoauif

Namevaibhav vidhate
Email
CommentsNice

Namejackolis
Email
Commentsyweeeeee yeeee mf!

NameMiranda Dianovsky
Email
CommentsI WAS BAMBOOZLED

Namerahul
Email
Comments

Namecupcakesparklelove
EmailLol
CommentsHehehehehehehehe did this on sis iPod and broke it coz i throw it @ wall coz nice lik tht :) xo Luv you n dis web ;)

NameLauren
EmailJ
CommentsAll that for nothing

NameJacqueline
Email
CommentsHahah stupid fun

NameCole Schroeder
Email
CommentsWow the effort u put into wasting my day is amazing

NameCole Schroeder
Email
CommentsWow the effort u put into wasting my day is amazing

Namesaiteja
Email
Comments

Namearchana
Email
Comments

Namedileep
Email
Comments

Namehdhdh
Emailhsuxhdhd
CommentsEUeud

Nameteehee
Email
Comments

NameMax
EmailProplr
CommentsWow

NameMax
EmailProplr
CommentsWow

Namebayader
Email
Commentslove you

Namemukul
Email
Comments

NameSushma netha
Email
CommentsWt is this Prajwal. ...

NameMarek
Emailmarekamirkhizi@ymail
Comments

Namepoulami
Email
Commentsbags

Namemashayla
Email
Comments

Namebob
EmailBob da builder
CommentsI'm cool

Namebob
EmailBob da builder
CommentsI'm cool

NameReal
Email
CommentsTHe illest

NameMELONMAN
Emailvn dbvj h
Commentsyay melons

Namerushil
Email
Commentsi will kill you mr fluffyboy

NameMaggie
EmailDon't wanna tell
CommentsHaha I the skeam😎

NameOliver h
Email
CommentsFuck you

NameABBY UNDERWOOD💋
Emaillol@no
CommentsI just did it to sign the guestbook lol

NameMackenna
Email
Comments

Nametaryn
Email
Comments

NameAlyssa👋 @alyssa.13
Email
Comments

NameWalker
Email
CommentsHey it will be a while

Namelkajdflkdsa
Email
Commentsfdsjfewasfrdsjfkldsjfgkaldsgnkldsjkldsjtgklsfnglk;dfjgkldsafgkldjswklgfdskljgl;kdsjgkldsfjgklfdjglkfdmjgnkldfhgklfdhyjgkhdfjksghfdjkghlfjkdh;gldfgsdf

NameLindsey boyer
Email
CommentsThat was dumb. But so am I for going all the way through...

NameEmily
EmailHughes
CommentsUhhhhhhh taken forever

Nameswapnil
Email
CommentsBakwas and an absolute waste of time


NameNathan Geddes
Email
CommentsYay

NameBored person
Email
CommentsI actually clicked ok about 100 times, my eyes are flashing

NameSHANKARLAL PATEL
Email
CommentsFine

Namehridoy
Email
CommentsWhats this?????

Nameneha
Email
Comments

Nameramesh
Email
Commentsnice

NameRamesh
Email
CommentsNice ... very funy

Namehitesh raut
Email
CommentsIts a Boaring......

Namesilence
Email
CommentsBored and ....

Nameprince
Email
Comments

Nameanand
Email
Comments

NameDilip nikalje
Email
Comments

Namesubhadas
Email
Comments

Nameanon
Emailymous
CommentsThat was quite fun but mwha you will NEVER FIGURE OUT WHO I AM!

Nameanon
Emailymous
CommentsThat was quite fun but mwha you will NEVER FIGURE OUT WHO I AM!

NameWade K
Email
CommentsHahahahahaha that was so fucking stupid

NameWade K
Email
CommentsHahahahahaha that was so fucking stupid

NameWade K
Email
CommentsHahahahahaha that was so fucking stupid

NameJess
Email
CommentsWow. Just wow.

Namesachin
Email
Commentscant

Namekeval
Email
Comments

Namekeval
Email
Comments

NameBalveer sihag
Email
CommentsHii

NameLiv Spaulding
Email
CommentsYou are an evil genius and if I could I would be you're bestfriend.

NameAllie
Email
Comments

NameSKMukherjee
Email
CommentsCool!

Namepradip
Email
Comments

NameMimin
Email
Commentsno comment

Namearyan
Email
Commentshawa

NameAnna
Email
Commentsthat sucked

NameMonet
Email
Comments

NameMonet
Email
Comments

NameLiam R
Email
CommentsWow, just wow😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

NameLiam R
Email
CommentsWow, just wow😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Namefranky
Emailstines
CommentsHey guys

Namemilly garcia
Emailyamilette@gmail305 com
Comments

NameRaina
Email
CommentsWell that was fun 😂😂

NameIzzy
Email
Comments.....

NameIzzy
Email
Comments.....

NameHailey
Email
CommentsHiiiiiiiiiiiii









Byeeeee

NameHailey
Email
CommentsHiiiiiiiiiiiii









Byeeeee

NameMaria
Email
CommentsCool I guess

NameCole Rabe
Email
Commentsthis is so aweseome!

Namesanjeet shrestha
Email
Comments

NameIdiota Is Sean Clifford
Email
CommentsPoop you

Namemegha
Email
Comments

Namemahi
Email
Comments:P

Namemanjula
Email
Comments

NameVinay
Email
CommentsI won't try to be awesome, awesome tries to be me.

NameRia Banga
Email
Comments

Namechetan
Email
Comments

NameHappiness
Email
CommentsWTf is this?

Nameshubham
Email
CommentsNice

Nameshubham
Email
CommentsNice

Nameshubham
Email
CommentsNice

Nameshubham
Email
CommentsNice

Namenandeesh
Email
Commentsthis is a support

Namepraveen
Email
Comments

NameMaya
Email
Comments

NameThomas
Email
CommentsBludy he'll that's over let's put it on Instagram

Namevignesh
Email
Commentsnice

Namevinit
Email
CommentsOk

Namevinit
Email
CommentsOk

Namevenkat
Email
CommentsYes

Namerahamthulla
Email
Comments

Nameanshul
Email
CommentsPeace :)

Namepiya
Email
Commentsdat ws so annoying..huhhh :/

NameDestynii Lesley
Email
CommentsIts Very Fun. I Think Ima Do It Againn. Lmfl

NameSamrat Ghosh
Email
CommentsThis was very annoying lol

NameKaitlyn
Email
Comments.......😳

NameKaitlyn
Email
Comments.......😳

NameBaker
Email
CommentsFun and interesting

NameAshe'/ Shay
Email
CommentsBruh😳😩😂🎿 for that

Namejaved
Email
Comments

NameJake sawyer
Email
CommentsThat was weird and fun at the same time

NameCaty
Email
CommentsOkkkkaaayyy thennn

NameValle
Email
CommentsThat was not fun

NameKaelin Smith
Email
CommentsThat was awesome what you did WOW

NameIzzy walker
Email
CommentsJOSIE REALLY

NameEden
Email
CommentsUr weird zoe lol

NameEden
Email
Comments

NameCameron
Email
CommentsI will shoot you

NameAimee
Email
CommentsYou are crazy!

Nameyo mama
Emailthis was annoying at i hate my life dot gov
CommentsOMG ANNOYING AS HELL

NameDevin
Email
CommentsTHIS WAS SO ANNOYING OMG

NameBlake Gammil
Email
CommentsSuck my dick man

Namearia
EmailF-O-R-E-V-E-R dot com
Comments😂

NameJOFO
Email
CommentsI dont have a life...

NameAkhil
Email
Comments

NameMadisen
Email
Comments

Namepraveen
Email
Comments*

NameImran Lunat
Email
Commentslmao

Namejosphinah njuni
Email
Comments

NameCarter fogarty
Email
Comments123456789101112131415161718192021232425

Nameamol
Email
Commentsace

NameNicki Minaj
Emailbigbutts.bux
Comments

Namevaibhav vidhate
Email
CommentsNice

Namemahesh pj
Emailmnahes
Comments

Namekalyani
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

NameSantana
Email
Comments

Namesanjid
Email
Comments

Namesanjid
Email
Comments

NameUranus
Emailoverthere
CommentsPoor Pluto

NameJaxon
Email
Comments

Namemukul borole
Email
Comments

NameGabby Hodge
Email
CommentsHail the lord, Satan

NameKyra
EmailHelms
CommentsI used your site as my instagram bio. A lot of people got mad at me lol

Nameraparthi alekhya
Email
Comments

Nameraparthi alekhya
Email
Comments

NameSmitha
Email
Comments

NameAlina Adams
Email
CommentsYour super funny!
Super PRETTY!!
And a fun friend to have!
See u later:)

NameIan
Email
Comments

NameEmily
EmailEmilylancaster829
CommentsThanks👊

NameSahar
Email
CommentsIlluminati-sahara-desert-loli-chan (:

Namepoop
Email
CommentsEveil...not

NameLayne
Email
CommentsI stayed till the end omg

Namebrynna
Email
CommentsForver

NameName
EmailEmail
CommentsComments:

NameGeorgia
Email
Commentshahahhaa

NameEddie Seybolt
Email612 214 3375
Comments

NameAlex wells
Email
CommentsEVIL

Namelisa
Email
Comments

NameSuzy
Email
CommentsHaha

NameBen
Email
CommentsWasted my time but was super funny 😂😂

NameJUS10 BEEBUR
Email
CommentsSHE FUCKED MY SMALL DICK

NameJUS10 BEEBUR
Email
CommentsSHE FUCKED MY SMALL DICK

Namejoshua
Email
CommentsJoshua gonzalez ok

Namesurrya
Email
CommentsHiii

Nameellie is smelly
Email
Commentsu smell liek pitas that r frankly. be my wief!!! ¢¾¢¾¢¾¢¾ luv spam my bf lolll noo bo

Namekatelyn
Email
CommentsBababqbqbbwbwbwhqhqhhqhqhqhq

Namesurrya
Email
Commentssomebady want sex

Namehi
Email
Comments

Namehi
Email
Comments

NameJenna
Email
Comments

Namenick
Email
Comments

NameRemy smet
Email
Comments

NameTapanga Bowen
Email
Comments

NameVartan Mirimanian
Email
Comments

NameVartan Mirimanian
Email
Comments

NameVartan Mirimanian
Email
Comments

NameTessa acres
Email
Comments

Namesatan❤️
EmailSuck my ass
CommentsFollow me on Instagram @satan

Namesatan❤️
EmailSuck my ass
CommentsFollow me on Instagram @satan

NameMahesh pj kadaba
Email
CommentsHmm

Nameastrid
Emaildallas💘
Comments

NameAditya
Email
Comments

NameSwagmeoutbro
EmailWhat's email
CommentsSweg.

NameDaman
Email
CommentsYo

Namedaman
Email
CommentsYo

Namemukul borole
Email
Comments

NameSaleena basheer
Email
Comments

NameEricaaa
Email
CommentsLmao you had me so curious.

NameJasmine
Email
Comments

NameGargi kulkarni
Email
Comments

NameGargi kulkarni
Email
Comments

Namesukriti
Email
Commentsnice

NameMalachi Dennis
Email
CommentsThis was the funniest shit ever lol

Namesukriti
Email
Commentsi like it

Namesukriti
Email
Comments

Nameshwetha
Email
Comments

NameMr.Dinosaur (Josue Ibarra)
EmailDont have one
CommentsI love this ima get my friends to try this......MWAHAHAAHAHAH

NameMr.Dinosaur (Josue Ibarra)
EmailDont have one
CommentsI love this ima get my friends to try this......MWAHAHAAHAHAH

Namegaks
Email
CommentsEvil but fun good staf

Namedeepika
Email
CommentsIt's good funny

Namesunil
Email
Commentswow

NameDiego
Email
Comments

NameAlex
Email
CommentsThat was AMAZING it was entertained and educational

NameKotryna
Email
CommentsStupid ig bios

NameAlex
Email
CommentsThat was AMAZING it was entertained and educational

NameEmily c
Email
Comments

NameJacob
Email
Commentswow this is some stupid shit lol

NameCharlie Stuart
Email
CommentsI did it

Namejoy
Email
CommentsVry funnny................hahaha

Namejoy
Emailjoyghorp88@gmail
Comments

Namevulf
Email
Commentssupetroil

NameEddie
Email
CommentsXD

Namesham
Email
CommentsGooood

Namecool
Email
Commentsslkdjhtfao;ksiw nfuckoiug yiyu

NameLola
Email
CommentsThis was so funny omg but it was kind of error atone when you do the alphabet two times!!!

NameBala
Email
Comments awesome...

NameTugai Foryu
Email
Comments

NameTugai
EmailForyu
Comments#totallyworthit #bitches #suckmymotherfuckingdick #onamotherfuckingplane

NameKever MacDonald
Email
CommentsLol that was retarded

Namenagendra k
Email
Comments

Nameazka
Email
Comments

Namerahula
Email
Comments

Namelosarwar abhijeet
Email
Comments1ch no.....ka....da....k..

Namedeepak
Email
Comments

Namedeepak
Email
Comments

Namemahathi v
Email
Comments

Namemahathi v
Email
Comments

Namemahathi v
Email
Comments

NameCheese
Email
Comments

Nameparantapa
Email
CommentsAwsm

NameBanana
Email
Commentslol this was so fun.
tip: use google chrome to skip it lolz.

Nametahnee
Email
Comments

NameSexy person
Email
Comments

NameKaren / karebear
Email
CommentsHahah. ...hi. .d.. .... .... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....... . . . . ........ . . . . .... . . .

Namenatalie
Email
Commentshello

Namemumbi
Email
CommentsFun

Namekathy
Email
Comments

Namekassy❤️
Emailyaaass.
Commentsily

Namebineesh
Email
CommentsAm using lumia windows phone. I really loved that the form and style that worked in my mobile. Its funny... Can't get back.. Stucked in it........

Namesucker
Emailwhat
Commentslol

NameEtho
Email
CommentsFun

NameStephen Kojo Dadzie Forson
Email
CommentsGood

NameNoyb
Email
CommentsThat was fun

Namejazzy
Emailguzman
Comments

Namejazzy
Emailguzman
Comments

NameAlex
EmailUrnotthebombdotcom
CommentsBroski

NameKylie
Email
CommentsThis was annoying but funny at the same time.

NameKylie
Email
CommentsThis was annoying but funny at the same time.

NameArqam
Email
CommentsWell that was fun....

NameZoe
Email
CommentsCool

NameJosh McLaren
Email
CommentsHello, why did you send me this and what is it for?

NameJosh McLaren
Email
CommentsHello, why did you send me this and what is it for?

NameMacy
Email
Comments

NameHilary😘😘
Email
CommentsHi
Hi
Hi
Sip
*sup
😘
I
M
B
O
R
E
D
😜
D
G
E
Y
T
O
E
R
X
A
L
P
Random
Letter
Sss
💩
J
F
F
G
G
U
U
I
I
I
Have
A
Baby
Brooo
🙊👶
Sooooo
BYE 👋

NameJo
Email
CommentsI'm laughing so hard

NameJack Dooling
Email
Comments😘😂😘😘😘😘😘😘😂😂

Namepius karani
Email
Commentsi

NameCameron
Email
CommentsLol this is hilarious 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂👌👌😂😂😂😂😂😂

NameCameron
Email
CommentsLol this is hilarious 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂👌👌😂😂😂😂😂😂

NameFucker
Emailfuck at fuckmail dot shit
CommentsI've reported this website to the police for spam

Namekachancha
Emailur.mom.was.here.com
CommentsUr mom!!

NameKayla 💕
Email
Comments

Nameansh
Email
Comments

NameBenito
Email
Commentswats this shit anyway

NameToby
Email
CommentsLol😂😂😂

NameYaseen
Email
CommentsTime wastee!!!!!!

NameMorgan Doherty
Email
Comments

Namepriyanka
Email
CommentsLife is cooool

Namechaithanyasiri01@gmail.com
Emailpriyatama
Comments

Namenaila
Email
Comments

Namerushikesh
Email
Comments

NamePoppy
Email
Comments... I hate this

Namekiranmai
Email
Comments

NameGirisha yv
Email
Comments

Namevivekhegde
Email
CommentsVivek is good boy

Namemanik
Email
Comments

NameRicardo Munez
Email
Comments

Nameshilpa
Emailshilpanalini96
CommentsGood

NameAyy
Emailhttp://frankly.pitas.com
Commentslol this is hilarious how do you do it I wanna make one

Namejitendra
Email
CommentsHiiiii....

NameMikayla
Email
CommentsWow

NameHj
EmailHjfff
CommentsHi

Nameyonas moges
Email
CommentsTry to be fast

Nameyonas moges
Email
CommentsTry to be fast

Nameashika
Email
Comments

NameNigga
Email
CommentsLemme smell yo dick

Namepoop
Email
Comments

NameBrooke
Email
Commentsthat was terrible 😂

NameMrs.Carpenter (JT)
EmailUh no. U thot.
CommentsThis was hilarious. It made me mad and annoyed but it was still really fun. Lol.

NameTurtle
Email
CommentsOh my god what did I just do

NameTurtle
Email
CommentsOh my god what did I just do

NameBexy
Email uh noo
CommentsLmao im confuzzled eff it :3

NameBexy
Email uh noo
CommentsLmao im confuzzled eff it :3

NameSophia
Email
CommentsThis was so funny

NameTrinity
EmailHewitt
CommentsLol I've done this 5 times 😏😜

NameLuna
Email
CommentsThis was so fun

Great site

NameDanelle
Email
CommentsHii !!! 🐯🐯

NameAmanda Luna
Email
CommentsVery creative. You can't get mad at fun that is annoying.

NameSelena Samaroo
Email
CommentsBest thing ever OMG 😂👌 this is the fifth time I did it lol it even went backwards once 😂👌❤️😘

NameTy Shepherd The Fifth
Email
CommentsLol just found the guest book

NameTy Shepherd The Fifth
Email
CommentsLol just found the guest book

Namezenyaspb1989
Email
Comments

Nameallieh
Email
Comments

Nameviveh Hegde
Email
CommentsGood boy nice nature

Namesoita dre
Email
Commentsam confused

Name😈
Email😯
CommentsHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I DID IT

Nameshagufta khan
Email
Comments

NameRaj kjoehdgf
Emailu ery i5etr
Commentsfhgujreiteyuj

NameSonu
Email
CommentsHahahahaha,crazy was it,totally cool,I guess ppl should try it out,make more things like this,Plssssss.loved it anyways.

NameSonu
Email
CommentsHahahahaha,crazy was it,totally cool,I guess ppl should try it out,make more things like this,Plssssss.loved it anyways.

NameTaylor
Email
CommentsLove this

Nameanita
Email1234
Comments

Nameshalini
Email
Comments

Nameimran
Email
Comments

Nameimran
Email
Comments

Namevaibhav vidhate
Email
CommentsNice

Namevaibhav vidhate
Email
CommentsNice

Namesuman
Email
Comments

Namesamiksha
Email
Comments

NameHarshal
Email
CommentsLiked it

NameSantosh kumari
Emailsantoshimudragada555
CommentsI seen this book cpltly

NameCaitlin
Email
CommentsHey I put it on my website so funny people hate me for it

NameAmit Kumar
Email
Comments

Namevicky
Email
Comments

Namespandana
Email
Commentsso nyc

NameNishadh nazar
Email
Comments

Nametukaram dhage
Email
Comments

NameEsme
Email
CommentsThis is garbage

NameBruh buddy
EmailSecrets, ask meh in person
CommentsUr kewl

Namejuanka
Email
Comments

NameShit bag
Email
CommentsShit bag

Nameaniket
Email
Comments(y)

NameGrace
Email
CommentsGeez!! 😂😂😂🍔 funny though!

NameHarrison
Email
CommentsAdd more numbers

Name~Rodrigues
EmailYellow232@hotmail
CommentsThis was the funniest thing on earth it wasted so much time of my life but YOLO😂

NameAmy
Email
CommentsMy friends got stuck on this and literally failed their homeworker bc it wouldn't stop for them😂

Namelauren
Email
CommentsI cANT

NameWhyyyyy
Email
CommentsThis was was the best thing I have ever done

NameAram
Email
Comments

NameSelena Samaroo
Email
CommentsLol this is so funny I thought it would never be done hahah it will do this like a million more times 😏 you can never get rid of me 😈 lol byee ❤️😍😘 -Selena, 13😂👌✌️💩

NameHATE THIS
Email
CommentsThis shit waste your time like for real no offesne is annoying go yo hell bitch

NameMaddie
EmailPalmer
CommentsHï!!! You are supper fun!!!!! 😋😋

NameMaddie
EmailPalmer
CommentsHï!!! You are supper fun!!!!! 😋😋

NameMeads
Email
CommentsHad a lot of fun clicking.....

Nameraj
Email
Comments

Namepooja
Email
CommentsWHOEVER HAS MADE THIS FUCKING WEBSITE PLZ KINDLY ADMIT URSELF IN AN ASYLUM. U R NT MENTALLY FIT TO USE INTERNET.

NameYaswanth
Email
Comments

Namelillian
Email
CommentsThis..Game Idea Is Really Cool...

NameUr ma
Email
CommentsThis is tha most annoying website I have ever see /read/fucking done I wish this website never existed✋

Namechandru
Email
Comments

Nameajay gupta
Email
CommentsCan u give me d source code???:-) loved it...

NameParineeta Ray
Email
CommentsDafaq!

Namearnold
Email
Comments

Namearnold
Email
Comments

Namemanoj
Email
Comments

Namepartha
Email
Comments

NameKelly carmack
Email
CommentsI can't believe you made me do that.

NameShirish
Email
Comments

NameTommy
Email
Comments

Nameseema sajwam
Email
Commentsdont read otherwise u will kill me

Nameajeesh
Email
CommentsWow.... its not funny.... its a killer funny.... big like (y)

Nameajeesh
Email
CommentsWow.... its not funny.... its a killer funny.... big like (y)

Namesadat
Email
Commentsno idea

NameCharlie Villanueva
Email
CommentsLol!!!

NameCharlie Villanueva
Email
CommentsLol!!!

NameCharlie Villanueva
Email
CommentsLol!!!

Namejoe
Email
Comments

Namesukriti
Email
Commentslyk it

Namesukriti
Email
Comments

NameKassidy
Email
CommentsOmg this is the 16th time I have clicked it on different people's amount.... I'm TOOPID.

NameEric Shawn Thompson
Email
Comments100 percent too much texting on the website!

NameEric Shawn Thompson
Email
Comments100 percent too much texting on the website!

Namedennis wanjala
Email
CommentsNot yet now

Namethe apple of justice AKA keely
Email
Comments*tearfully sings*
"Now i know my ABC's" :'(

NameChase burns
Email
Comments

Namefgt
Email
Commentsyo

NameKaitlyn G
EmailNunya
CommentsIt was annoying but it was interesting on why I felt the need to see what was at the end, the psychological obsession is real. Our subconscious needed to know what's the end and why endure this self inflicted torment.

NameMadi
Email
CommentsI love it💕

Nameviolet
Email
CommentsNo int

Name😕😕😕😕
Email
Comments

NameSarah
Email
CommentsI like it

NameSydney
Email
CommentsLol I fell for it😂

Namesriram
Email
Commentsawsm !!!!!!!

NameJake Flinerberg
EmailJakeFlinerberg.google.com
CommentsWhat the heck did I just sign...

NameSyerra Liptrot
Email
Comments

Namehaley
Email
Commentsnot cool

Nametarnish
EmailWilliams
CommentsBictch

Nameboobs
Email
Commentsboobs

NameMichel Cabrera Cordero
Email
CommentsQuiero saber todo acerca del tratamiento mandenme información porfavor.

NameERIC SHAWN THOMPSON 11
Email
CommentsThis is Very AWKWARD.

NameHubert cumberdale
Email
CommentsThis is the greatest page on the Internet.

NameBob
Email
CommentsOmg it was so annoying😫😫

NameBob
Email
CommentsOmg it was so annoying😫😫

NameJamie F doe
Emailjamiem_82
Comments

NameRana
Email😄
CommentsOmg this was stupid yet entertaning 😂😂

Namemorgan
Email
Commentsi freakin hate you for creating this

NameJinga
Email
Comments

NameJudy
Email
CommentsI like it

Namevishal chalak
Emailvish
Comments

Nameektaverma
Email
Comments

Nameviolet
Email
Comments

Nameviolet
Email
Comments

Nameralph ramirez
Email
CommentsMessage i like to take you out

Nameralph ramirez
Email
CommentsMessage i like to take you out

NameFred from Papa Gino's
Email
CommentsI like cheese

Namevinod
Email
Comments

Namedida
Email
CommentsI like your dialogue

NameSatan
Email666
CommentsThis was created by me for entertainment purposes

NameSmiles
Email
CommentsAhhhhhhh

Nameparveez
Email
Commentsshed mcfv

NameCaitlynn
Email
CommentsMuahhhhh

Nametomgrier
Email
CommentsYour the best skater

Namemaqsood
Email
CommentsAmzin fun

NameRose
Email
Comments

Namepriya
Email
Comments

Namemanju
Email
Commentsfwth3nlcaxdnmsa;d

Namepriyanka Bhati
Email
Comments

NameSofiLara
Email
CommentsAmazing

Namealicia
Emailnotgonnahappen.stalkers.com
Comments hilarious. follow me on ig. qlicia_mok ㄟ( ̄▽ ̄ㄟ)to the window!
(厂 ̄▽ ̄)厂 to the wall!


Tell me u found me on this website, and ill follow u back!

Namealicia
Emailnotgonnahappen.stalkers.com
Comments hilarious. follow me on ig. qlicia_mok ㄟ( ̄▽ ̄ㄟ)to the window!
(厂 ̄▽ ̄)厂 to the wall!


Tell me u found me on this website, and ill follow u back!

NameKeisi
Email
Comments

Namemanene khrasi
Email
Comments

NameMaria
Email
CommentsHahahaha

NameMaria
Email
CommentsHahahaha

NameZuzu
Email
CommentsHey pal

NameJinette faraj
Email
Comments

Namepego
Email
Comments

NameShakira
Email
Comments

Nameerikakothe
Email
Comments

NameKatelyn really likes animals ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Email
CommentsLol

NameJayna
Email
CommentsYou f***in suck sometimes, you know that?

NameOlivia Walker
Email
CommentsLol

NameJerk
EmailUrafuckingasshole
CommentsI hate u

Nameshirley mwima
Email
CommentsCool

NameOwen Willis
Email
CommentsWow that took me ages!

NameCat irwin
Email
CommentsPerf /:

NameCat irwin
Email
CommentsPerf /:

Namecfc_gibs -follow me on ig
Email
CommentsFollow me on instagram @cfc_gibs thx a lot luca for telling me about it follow him! @lucab1_ this website was annoying but pretty funny so....

NameDevon
Email
Comments

Namekanmani
Email
Comments

NameKatie
Email
CommentsWow!

Namekiki arya
Email
Comments

Namehotcrossbunz
Email
Commentsbitch niqqa plz

NameDeirdre
EmailNot gonna tell you
CommentsI hated this... THANK YOU VICTORIA!!!

Namens
Email
Comments

Namebitch
Emailbitch2.poo
CommentsNigga

Namebitch
Emailbitch2.poo
CommentsNigga

Nameniyati
Email
Comments

NameEmily
Email
Comments

NameFaZaLKh
Email
CommentsBullshit.....Go to HeLL

NameMony
Email
CommentsLOL

Nameshafayatullakhan
Email
CommentsLallu kI rabdi.

NameiT'sRaven!
Email
CommentslOLOLOLOLL

NameAllwyn
Email
CommentsNa

Namedeekshith
Email
Commentsdon't open it u will sufer!!!!!!!!!!!

Namekamal
Email
CommentsHaaaaaa

NameJack
Emailjcoop252eememem
CommentsFUCK YOU!

NameReal nigga
EmailRealnigga.com
CommentsReally nigga

NameLaila
Email
CommentsWhhyyyy

NameIsam
Email
CommentsYou should offer a rewarded nude picture of iggy for motivational finishes

Namemadeleine
Email
Comments

Namemadeleine
EmailDrew@mastkn
Comments

NameAlberto
Email
CommentsEvil! 😂

NameHeather
Email
CommentsI wasn't going to leave

NameHeather
Email
CommentsI wasn't going to leave

NameBob Saget
Email
Commentsfucking

NameHshs
EmailJsjsjs
CommentsCoooool

NameCarmen Mosley
Email
CommentsI literally did this 3 times already

NameCarmen Mosley
Email
CommentsI literally did this 3 times already

NameTakayla
Email
Comments😒😊😄😋😳

NameEmma
Email
CommentsThis was in the link on my friends bio and oh my god, I was watching dr who, I got so mad at her XD

NameBrie
Email
Comments

NameKayla
Email
CommentsHey

Nameaditya shawarn
Email
Commentshii

NameVictoria Olson
Email
Comments

NameClaire Fucking
EmailLittle
CommentsFuck you, fuck you right in the ass

Nameizzy
Email
Commentsfuck this

NameRonnie radke
Email
Comments

NameRonnie radke
Email
Comments

Namejamir
Email
CommentsWow that was annoying

NameCristian
Email
CommentsHahaha😂

NameCristian
Email
CommentsHahaha😂

NameSammy craven
EmailSammy.craven&yahoo.com
Comments

NameRosie
EmailNo.thanks
CommentsOmg. That funny😂 but wasted my time😑

NameAyush Mishra
Email
CommentsAwesome

NameAlvin Aron
Email
CommentsYou really made me suffer guys,,good idea guys,,my kids love you much they told me to tell tou that!!! Hahahaha i cant belive i did the ALPHABET!!!

Nameima
Email
CommentsAwesome

Namevinayak
Email
Comments

Namekelvin
Email
Comments

NameTyler z
EmailA
CommentsHate you

Nameasshole
Email
CommentsU made me suffer

NameBrianna bernier
Email
Comments

NameBrianna bernier
Email
Comments

NameBrianna bernier
Email
Comments

NameBrianna bernier
Email
Comments

NameBrianna bernier
Email
Comments

Namelizzybeth
Email
CommentsThat was crazy.

Namelizzybeth
Email
Comments

Namegurupal
Email
Comments

Namefuck you
Email
CommentsFuck this duckingfuck siye

Namefuck you
Email
CommentsFuck this duckingfuck siye

NameSakshi Vikas
Email
Comments

Namehaushiram thorat
Email
Comments

Namereally? fun? yes it is!
Email
CommentsIt got me worried for first but it was fun to prank people. put this code in your twitter,emails,facebook,we chat,whatsapp,and many more. put this code to many website hotlink even post this as a sms code to prank people that you know! really fun prank.

Namereally? fun? yes it is!
Email
CommentsIt got me worried for first but it was fun to prank people. put this code in your twitter,emails,facebook,we chat,whatsapp,and many more. put this code to many website hotlink even post this as a sms code to prank people that you know! really fun prank.

NameBimin
Email
CommentsLol.....

Namejagan
Emailjagan
Comments

Nameashwini
Emailkumarashwini406@Gmail
Comments

Nameashwini
Emailkumarashwini406@Gmail
Comments

NameSanjeev
Email
Comments

Namekerry
Email
Commentshaha

Namehashir
Email
Comments

NameSukanya
Email
Comments

NameHarsh
Email
CommentsAwesome dude... It's a really eritted fun..... But I enjoyed it

Nameaparna
Email
Comments

NameCana
Email
CommentsI know how to count to 50 now!!!!

NameCassidy
Email
CommentsThis was SO irritating!!!! How do younp make these

NameCharles
Email
CommentsLol

NameIDC
EmailIhate this .com
CommentsThis is stupid😡

NameIDC
EmailIhate this .com
CommentsThis is stupid😡

Namekhairi
Email
CommentsOk

NameSophie
Email
CommentsIlyy

Namebuster
Emailwayne
Comments

Nameiszati
Email
CommentsThqt was hillarious. Again~

NameSome bitch :/
Emailmothafucka.com
CommentsStarving...

NameCaitlin
Email
CommentsWHAT AM I DOING HERE

NameCaitlin
Email
CommentsWHAT AM I DOING HERE

NameMolly Kate
Email
CommentsHi

NamenamakuAm
Email
CommentsHahaha it so fun

NameAmiyah Brown
EmailWhy.u.gotta.know?
Comments

Nameziegtumblr
Email
CommentsI didn't u follow but I'm a rebel ������

Namehannah
Email@hannahbredsmarting
Comments

Namemack attack
Email
CommentsKinda didnt know why the whole thing with the"dint hit the bbutton" but when I did hit it it was kinda fun reciting the alphabet...twice and counting to 50. SO MUCH FUUUUUN!!!!!!!

Namehi
Emailhi
CommentsHi

Name@ppp
Email
Comments

Namekyle
Emailkydlebits@gmail
CommentsHi

NameJustin
Email
CommentsBITCHEZZZZ

NameDj Vijay
Email
CommentsHi

NameEmily
EmailNon of your biz
Comments

Namekudin
Email
Comments

NameHadi
Email
Comments

NameKatie kirby-jones
Email
CommentsHahahahahahahahahahaha

Namehhh
Emailtygh
Comments

Namekarthika
Email
Comments

Namealeesha
Email
Comments

NameHardik patel
Email
Comments

NameCrocodile
Email
Comments

Namesuck my ass
Email
CommentsI just clicked " don't allow this website to give me more popups" :p

Namevahi
Email
CommentsHi

NameJoshua
Email
CommentsThis was so fun 👍👍👍👍

NameMadeline
Email
CommentsThis made my day
I'm laughing so hard
Thank you.

NameJayaram
Email
CommentsPodi lusu

NameShubh Singh
Email
CommentsFuckin awesome Guyz Work Hard!!

Namewashingtonkatierose@icloud.com
Email
CommentsAwesome!

NameMeredith
Email
CommentsBruh. This is so annoying.

NameAnnika
Email
Comments

NameAjay
Email
Commentshehhe kuch smj hi nai aaya :p

NamePriyanka
Email
CommentsNice idea to waste everybody's time and yours too

NameNupur
Email
CommentsIt was good... Good software

NameLauren
Email
Comments

NameBharadwaj
Email
Comments

NameDerek
Email
CommentsAbcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

NameTeenage Llama
Emailidk ask u mum
CommentsI didnt look at the whole but how did i get here ... the world may never know

NameYAH NIG DAQUAN
Email
CommentsI love ur ass

Namebmyers_115
Email
CommentsSo annoying

NameIzabelle Kortman
Email
CommentsWaste of my life

NameFinley
Email
Comments

NameD-Ham
Email
Comments

NameKelly
Email
CommentsThat was awful I only did it to see what I would get to and it was completely not worth it😒

NameKelly
Email
CommentsThat was awful I only did it to see what I would get to and it was completely not worth it😒

NameYolo Krassman
Email
CommentsOh la la

Nameok
Emailok
Commentsok

Namekikireed
Email
CommentsAwesomeness

Namethe one who will fuck U one day Mahaha
Email
CommentsYou have a real problem in your head but hey


thats why i love ya

NameBig knob rob
Email
Commentsyeet

NameDonky91
Email
Comments

NameDonky91
Email
Comments

Namedmatokeh
Email
Comments

Namewat
Email
Commentswat

Namesumeiya Abdillahi
Email
Comments

NameKalekye
Email
CommentsCoolll!!!

Nameseema
Email
Comments

Nameseema
Email
Comments

Namekiran kamthe
Email
Commentsnice....

Namepradeepkumar
Email
Comments

Namenimal
Email
Commentshii

Namesampath kumar
Email
CommentsIdea is good but the matter inside is not interesting , create a story or something else and make the people fell tense and finally they should blast of laughter.
but i should appreciate you because its a good work congratulations.

Namesaran
Email
CommentsFunny

Namefatin
Email
Comments

NameAkku
Email
Commentsawesome dude!

Namegjb
Emailgjbbjj.com
CommentsWoooooo

Namegeorge
Email
Comments

Nameyoga
Email
Comments

NameRohan
Email
Comments

Nameqwe
Emailqasw.com
CommentsCvgdchhfdhjy

NameCynthia Nthenya Kiilu
Email
Commentswhat is this?????

NameCynthia Nthenya Kiilu
Email
Commentswhat is this?????

NameCynthia Nthenya Kiilu
Email
Comments

Namesunil
Email
Comments

Nameoro
Emaildoropinawathee.com
Comments

Nameainul syakirah saffie
Email
CommentsIt is so amazing..good idea..so fun although to wait a few secondsi

NameM.Paramasivan
Email
Comments

Namejackson mkambula
Email
Comments

NameRaingachan
Email
CommentsWht a game...

NameKHOKHA BABU
Email
CommentsTum hi ho ab tum hi ho meri aashique ab tum hi ho

Namet. swag
Email
CommentsI HATE MY FRIENDS

Namevetti
Email
CommentsNothing to say

Namevetti
Email
CommentsNothing to say

Nameuma
Email
CommentsNothing to say

Namemohd syafie bin tahir
Email
Comments

Namerakesh
Email
CommentsWTF

Namedinesh
Email
Commentswhy..

NameAddie
Email
CommentsThis was so much fucking fun omg 🌚😂

NameCummins.Daily
Email
CommentsCummins.Daily on Instagram

NameCummins.Daily
Email
CommentsCummins.Daily on Instagram

NameAddie
Email
CommentsThis was so much fucking fun OMG 😂💖

NameCalista
Email
CommentsHahahahaha man you got me it was ANOYING!

NameAbi
Email
Comments

NameSydney
Email
CommentsI'm the Sydney from camp. I hate this.

NameGillian (geab33)
Email
Comments

NameSkylar smith
Email
CommentsWow wtf

NameCecile Wilson
Email
CommentsI legit love you so much

NameAnushka
Email
CommentsNice one..

NameAnushka
Email
CommentsNice one..

NameGrace
Email
Comments

NameBrad Berrezueta
Email
Commentsvery funny. worried at first, then relieved.

NameBrad Berrezueta
Email
Commentsvery funny. worried at first, then relieved.

NameMeagan Bilodeau
Email
CommentsLove u so much perrie!!

NameMorgan
Email
CommentsI made it, wooooooo, thx for putting me through this torture and have a nice day!

NameAngelina
Email
CommentsThis pissed me off so much
I've fallen for it 4 times

NameKaitlyn
Email
CommentsThat was fun u should keep going!!
Muhahhahaaaha

NamePool
Email
CommentsThis was to easy I don't know what everyone is talking about.

NamePool
Email
CommentsThis was to easy I don't know what everyone is talking about.

NamePool
Email
Comments

Namebebie
Email
CommentsI dnt care nd I believe in ma slf

NameGuy....
Emailnope
CommentsUggs not drugs

NamePaloma
Email
CommentsEsta de hueva se tarda años

NamePaloma
Email
Comments

Nameximena
Email
CommentsPretty clever -_-

NameQuinten
Email
CommentsHahaha ...my thumb hurts :/

Namejohn shamolla
Email
CommentsIt was realy realy fun...l loved what l saw..

NameAle
Email
Comments

NameJake
Email
CommentsDon't click it

Namereenu
Email
Comments

NameAli gotdon
EmailUybsdvv
CommentsUr so annoying

Namelily o'brien
Email
Commentshaha losers im cooler than u

Namelily o'brien
Email
Commentshaha losers im cooler than u

Namelily o'brien
Email
Commentshaha losers im cooler than u

NameMisdawd
Email
Commentsi will like a free minecraft server /mydick

NameKory
Email
CommentsKory

NameJasneet Kaur
Email
Comments

NameMineZ
Email
Commentshej

Nameshruti shrivastav
Email
Commentsooo...re lamhe 2 yhi ruk ja ho sake to umra bhad thum ja....:-)

Nameelizabeth mutuku
Email
CommentsJust do it....u wil like it

Namemaya
Email
Comments

Namekavitha
Email
Comments

Namepriya
Email
Comments

NameHannah
Email
CommentsJdkwkcjskwjdjd

NameHannah
Email
CommentsJdkwkcjskwjdjd

NameHeila Charen
Email
CommentsThis was hell.

NameBrijesh kumar
Email
Commentsfaadu man... ;-) bt lil irritatng... :-P

NameGina
Email
Comments

Namesabyasachi
Email
Commentshi dear.....
waitaspp

Namesuper woman
Email
CommentsWhts ths?

Namesanket jain
Email
CommentsI love my self

Namesabyasachi
Email
Comments

Namesabyasachi
Email
Comments

Namesabyasachi
Email
Comments

Namesabyasachi
Email
Comments

Namesatyavrat
Email
Comments

Namesatyavrat
Email
Comments

NameAudra
Email
CommentsHahaha that was so funny! ��

Namemelvin
Email
CommentsZzz

Nameanand
Email
CommentsLol

Nameanand
Email
CommentsLol

Nameanand
Email
CommentsLol

Namepankaj
Email
Commentshi

Namemohammed aslam
Email
CommentsSuperb

Namebara
Email
Comments

Namebara
Email
Comments

NameIrene Jorum
Email
Comments

NameIrene Jorum
Email
Comments

NameIrene Jorum
Email
Comments

Namesalman
Email
CommentsHum... Putta...

Namejurgens
Emailjurgs85.gmail.com
CommentsHi

Namekishu
Email
Comments

Nameneha
Email
Commentsgood job

Nameanaira
Email
Comments

NameKody
Email
CommentsFunny

Nameashreina
Email
CommentsRohi tera kuch kaam dhanda nahi hai kyaaaaa

Nameashreina
Email
CommentsRohi tera kuch kaam dhanda nahi hai kyaaaaa

Namebob
Email
Commentsg'day

NameAzuuu
Emailazuuu4211at gmail dot com
CommentsIt was crazy and fun thanks.

NameRachel
Email
CommentsWell, that was enlightening.

Namemarrysyhe
Emailhajsjsn@nqkwkme
CommentsWtf how you do? Tell me pls

Namekmr
Email
Commentsgud

Namekmr
Email
Commentsgud

Namesurbhi
Email
CommentsNothing

NamePriyadharshini
Email
Commentsits different

NameSathya
Email
Commentsnothinh...

Namepvshastri
Email
CommentsThis is a nice n harmless way of passing time. Thanks.

NameAbhijit
Email
CommentsWhat is this for

NameAbhijit
Email
CommentsWhat is this for

NameAlice nyatika
Email
CommentsLors of fun

Namebruh
Email
CommentsBruh

NameBernardo
Email
Comments

NameOmmyyusuf
Email
CommentsYou people are crazy and awesome!

NameOmmyyusuf
Email
CommentsYou people are crazy and awesome!

Nameisaac
Email
CommentsYeah

NameBlablabla Alfa
Email
Comments

Nameisaac
Email
Comments

NameBlablabla Alfa
Email
Comments

NameKatherine
Email
Comments

NameAnastasia
Email
CommentsHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ITS MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW HAHAHAHAHAHAH WOOT WOOT NOOT NOOT GMHAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEH

NameMariana Matán
Email
Comments

NameKanye east
Email
Comments

NameMichael song
Email
CommentsLuv it❤️❤️

Namejyothi
Email
CommentsNice.....

NameJack
Email
CommentsThat was awesome

NameShirley
Email
CommentsDo I get a prize?

NameEthel Chibuye banda
Email
CommentsWhat to join and have fun

NameValery
Emailibwnh.com.fr
CommentsAmazing

NameKamryn
EmailJdbsnskoejdnd
CommentsThis was soooooooooooooooo funny!!!

NameLeeya
Email
Commentsthat was fun. let's not do it again. xx

NameLaura
Email
Comments

NameSantiago
Email
Comments

NameLily
Email
CommentsKuwa serious

NameBlake
Email
Comments

Namejay jay
Email
Commentsthis is crazy, Good job

Namejay jay
Email
Commentsthis is crazy, Good job

NameMartin Luther King
Email
CommentsI was here

NameCMB
Email
Comments

Nameambarish
Email
Commentsvery well

NameRicardo Fields
Email
CommentsMotherf****r I last like 30 min here haha

Namerafi
Email
Commentsnice

Namerabiya
Email
Comments

NameJyoti
Email
CommentsCgllbfg

Nameanu singh
Emailanusingh6677
CommentsKill you.. Whoever created it

Nameanu singh
Emailanusingh6677
CommentsKill you.. Whoever created it

NameAdam Iagallo
Email
CommentsHahahhhhhhhhahhhhahhhhhhhahahahahhhhhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahahahahhshhaahahhahahahahahahahahahahhhhahahahahahahhaahhahahahhahahhhahahahaahhaahahahhahaahahggahahahahhahahhghhghhgghhahahahhahaahhhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahaggagagggagaga

Namepradeep kumar jain
Email
Comments

NameKevin Wisleder
Email
CommentsFuck school my life is completet

NameNishanth
Email
Comments

NameNishanth
Email
Comments

Nameanil
Email
Commentswhat's it?

NameCole Zamborsky
Email
CommentsHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHAH . BROKE MY PHONE .

Namekevin
Email
Comments

NameGray
Email
Commentsblaahhhh

Nameabednego
Email
CommentsThanx 4 fun

Nameshivanjani
Email
Comments

NameAlec
EmailCarter
CommentsIim stupid

Namebhupendra.rawat628@gmail.com
Email8130450236
Comments

NameRocco Sandell
Email
CommentsOmfg

NamePranav
Email
Commentsnow u r feeling happy

Namekrishna
Email
Commentsnice

Nameengku eryyka
Email
Comments

NameMahesh
Email
CommentsWhy???

Namefarajah
Email
Comments

NameAlflin03
Email
CommentsHi!

NameMcMully
Email
CommentsVery funn??? How did you get to do all that??

Namesoujannita saha
Email
Comments

Nameanjali
Email
CommentsHlw

Namelokesh
Email
Comments

Nameann muthoni kimotho
Email
Commentshaha.....

Namemanjula
Email
Comments

Namemanjula
Email
Comments

Namezion
Email
CommentsHAHA

NameAlex
Email
Commentskul

NameNirvanna
Email
CommentsWhy?!

Namednyanprasad jadhav
Email
CommentsVery funny..
Jr tula bore vhaylay tr amhala kashala bore karaylas..
Amhalapn kalatiy tujhi bhasha..
N ashe tym pass funde tr amchya watsapp grp vr lai aahet.. mind rockers sagla mind ghatlay yanni..
Balapurche yede tr lai yede aahet..
Medicos madhye tr psycho aahet sagle..
Ata mi pn tym pass kartoy..
Kay kru por grp vr bore karaylet.. grp sodla tr punha add karaylet..jau de ata rahto grpvr..
Ts tr majhi iccha nahi sampvaychi..pn byeee..
Ani amchya nadala nko lagu.. adavnaryanna jiwant gadto..जय महाराष्ट्र. . येऊन येऊन येणार कोण.. शिवसेनेशिवाय आहेच कोण..

NameI'm not putting my name you pervs
Email
CommentsThis amused me and I am defiantly going to put it in my Instagram bio. Also I'm really bored so I'm going to keep talking...... I feel very accomplished, I should buy myself a trophy. No that would be sad, maybe a medal.... Still sad. I'll probably just get a nice professional looking plaque, that will surely strike up an interesting conversation. I feel like I'm talking to myself but someone is watching me..... I read somewhere that there are certain websites out there that hack into the camera on your device and they watch you. Ever since then I have been paranoid that I'm like going to die, or something worse....... DUN DUN DUNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to cover my camera now just in case you are watching me....

Namesara
Email
Comments

NameEmily
Email
CommentsIM AWESOME 😊

NameMolly
Email
CommentsDid I really just waste my time for that....

NameAmber💘
Email
CommentsI actually just wasted my time doing that.....

NamePrashanth Kumar G N
Email
CommentsHmmm......very funny....

NameMaria
Email
CommentsThat was something else!! Haha I'm putting this on my instagram!!

Namehafizule_joe@yahoo.com.my
Email317882
Comments

NameIzzy
EmailKatz21
CommentsStupid

NameIzzy
EmailKatz21
CommentsStupid

Namepenelope castro
Emailpenelopecastro3@gmail com
CommentsBruh................ ..... .. .. ...... .. .. that was funnny but annoying at the same time

NameBroc
Email
CommentsTook so long 😂👌

Namejugi
Email
CommentsNayae nadhari

NameHailee Patterson
Email
CommentsWhat is this?

NameAss face
Email
CommentsFuck you that was torture!!!!!

NameJunie
Email
CommentsThis is the best

Namesavannah
Email
Comments

Namewinsdu
Email
Commentsi hate you.

NameZayly
Email
Comments

NameRabin
Email
Comments

NameAbdul Basith
Email
CommentsWhat a fucking website!!!!!!!!!

NameAkash
Email
Comments

NameAkash
Email
Comments

NameAkash
Email
Comments

NameAkash
Email
Comments

NameSonali
Email
Commentshi

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an abstract painter, in a tiny village in Rensselaer County, New York. Cote is large, warm, taciturn, and wears a mustache. Their house is a converted elementary school, built in 1930 by the W.P.A.: neo-Georgian, brick, with Boston ivy and fifteen-foot ceilings. He paints in the gymnasium; the bathtub is in the teachers’ lounge. On the fence outside, a sign made from found sticks spells “L’Ecole.”

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. “I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle,” she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month’s selection for her book club—local women, wine, family talk—was full of mixed metaphors. “I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake,” she said. “A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something’s wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is.” She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. “Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor,” she said. She read another: “ ‘A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.’ I thought about that. You’d think he could get away with it, but he can’t, because ‘stuffed’ is a verb that comes from material. It’s soft, so it’s a problem to stuff it with something hard.” There were sentences about camouflaging with a veneer, and girding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. “Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison,” she said.

But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author’s photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. “I just write down one sentence,” she said. “This would be me assuming a kind of yenta voice: ‘Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.’ ” She smiled. “It’s me feeling a little sorry that I’m writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so friendly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don’t look so innocent.”

In the summer of 1973, when Davis was twenty-six, she and her boyfriend Paul Auster went to live in the South of France, as caretakers of an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse with a red tile roof and an enclosed garden. They had been in Paris for two years already, translating French novels and poems and art catalogues and film scripts—sometimes the pay amounted to five dollars a page—and working assiduously on their own writing.

At Barnard, where Davis went to college, she had been a distracted student, occasionally accompanying Auster to his classes at Columbia rather than attending her own. (They met in the spring of their freshman year.) They played touch football and one-on-one basketball. Davis had long honey-colored hair and a dreamy affect. “She had pheromones, and men and boys followed her around panting,” an old friend said.

Auster was sunken-eyed and soulful, with a cocked eyebrow, or, as he puts it, “a dark-haired Jewish boy from New Jersey with a public-school education.” Davis had gone to Brearley, and then to Putney, a boarding school with farm work, in Vermont. Her father, Robert Gorham Davis, taught English at Columbia—modern short stories—and her mother, Hope Hale Davis, wrote fiction for women’s magazines and occasionally for The New Yorker. First they were Communists, then liberals (he was questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities); always they were avid party-givers. Lionel Trilling came to the apartment, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Edward Said. In memoirs, Auster portrays himself as helplessly impressed by Davis, loving more than he was loved. He writes, “For the most part you were the pursuer, and she alternated between resisting your advances and wanting to be caught.” Among their friends—“arcane, avant-garde intellectuals,” Mitch Sisskind, who was one of them, said—Davis was the eccentric. “We were all reading Kafka,” he told me. “She read Kafka, too—and you can see the influence—but she also read ‘The Making of a Surgeon.’ ”

In the country, Auster wrote poems; Davis struggled to write traditional short stories, of the kind her parents admired. (Later, they would say, Why don’t you write about your travels or something more cheerful?) She copied out lines of Beckett to understand how the sentences functioned, and tacked them to the wall. The stories, however, were too masterly to imitate. She read mysteries, weighed herself, threw pebbles in an urn. She tried to make herself stay at her desk till lunch. Auster, on the other hand, could easily work all day.

At the end of August, Davis happened to read a strange little book of very short stories by the poet Russell Edson. Here was a contemporary, an American, whose stories, unlike those of her literary heroes, sometimes failed. Within days, she had started writing strange little stories of her own. She set a goal, two per day. “I didn’t think too hard about what I was going to do,” she told me. “I just snatched an idea from the air, I just went with it, and I didn’t think about what the meaning was of the story, and I still don’t like to do that.” She started to enjoy herself. A month after reading Edson, she wrote “The Thirteenth Woman,” a hundred-and-thirty-eight-word story in two sentences, which she sees as “the first seminal story.” The same day, she wrote “The Transformation,” a page-long fable about a woman who turns into a stone. She worked in a plain cardboard notebook, with a studied hand. “Must conquer this afternoon malaise,” one late-September entry starts, followed by six stories. “She would get an idea, three or four sentences or a paragraph, and she would write it clean off the top of her head and that would be it,” Auster told me. “The stuff she labored over never turned out as successfully.”

Anything Davis wrote might turn, unbidden, into fiction. In her notebook, she composed a letter to her friend Jack LeVert (part of their Kafka-reading, touch-football-playing crowd), who was planning to visit them at the farmhouse:

If you were to look in on us, you would be amazed at the elegance in which we live. You would see us sweep into the driveway in a pale green station wagon, casually pat our thoroughbreds as we entered our restored, pre-revolutionary home with its thick beams and red tiled floors. . . . You would see us during the day with dreamy looks in our eyes writing poetry and little dibs and dabs of nothing, as though we had been born to idleness. Perhaps I would invite you to go sketching and we would take the folding chairs and our pads of sketch paper. Perhaps later we would listen to an opera from where we lounged beside the bright medieval fireplace, our Labradors sleeping at our feet on their deerskin rug. But as dinnertime approached you would notice that we grew nervous. At first it would be hardly perceptible, the smallest haunted look in our eyes, a dark shadow on our faces. You would intercept embarrassed glances. I would blush suddenly and turn pale and when dinner arrived, though the pottery were of the finest quality, hand turned, and the mats from Japan and the napkins from India, the beans would stick in your throat, the carrots would break the tines of your fork and you would recognize the taste of cat. How much more painful is poverty for the caretakers.

“The new piece of paper you like to keep on your desk came in.”
BUY OR LICENSE »
The hardship was romantic, self-imposed. “We both came from families that had enough money to rescue us,” Davis said. “This was all our own choice, really. It was for our so-called art.” When they finally ran out of money, they returned to New York, nine dollars between them. Davis’s father helped get them an apartment on Riverside Drive, and they were married there in the fall of 1974. (Auster, in “Winter Journal,” a memoir: “Given the frequent changes of heart that had afflicted the two of you from the beginning, the constant comings and goings, the affairs with other people, the breakups and makeups that followed one another as regularly as the changing of the seasons, the thought that either one of you should have considered marriage at this point now strikes you as an act of delusional folly.” Davis: “I read about some town in Northern California, where the pastor at the church—or is it the law?—said you’re not allowed to get married without three or four visits to the pastoral counselor ahead of time to discuss your expectations or habits or needs. It’s worked out very well. People don’t get divorced.”) Davis briefly studied to become a speech therapist. Instead, she and Auster moved to Berkeley and published a collection of her pieces, “The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories,” in an edition of five hundred. The poets in their circle loved it.

The following year, expecting a child, they bought an old house in Dutchess County—a cursed house, according to Auster, who found “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a box on the back porch and a dried-up crow, like an omen, behind a chest of drawers. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1977, and when he was eighteen months old they separated. Auster moved back to the city, and, after they divorced, married the novelist Siri Hustvedt. Eventually, Davis moved back, too, and lived a few blocks from them in Brooklyn to make it easier for Daniel to go back and forth. Davis worked as a typesetter at a small Brooklyn newspaper; the checks the paper wrote her bounced.

The question of what constitutes a story is troublesome. E. M. Forster wrote, “ ‘The king died and then the queen died’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.” Davis’s stories have very little in the way of plot; sometimes people get indignant and ask her why she doesn’t call them poems or fragments. (She prefers the deeper associations of the word “story.”) Like thoughts, her pieces are reiterative; she sooner makes chronology a subject than a formal device. She says her work arises from a conjunction of humor, language, and emotional difficulty. Sometimes that means high culture, low culture, and animals; that is, a contradiction, plus the life force. Usually, she sets out to answer a single question and tries to stop between incomprehensibility (too little detail) and boredom (too much). Her longer pieces slacken and drift, but at fifteen hundred words the line is taut. As one of her narrators says, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long.” Even poets find her concentration bracing. Matthew Zapruder, a poet and editor who keeps Davis’s “Collected Stories” on his shelf and turns to it whenever he needs a jolt, says, “It almost feels like a challenge to poetry. She can do this, why can’t we?”

“By fiction now I just mean a construct that’s a little different from reality,” Davis told me. “One aspect of that is a narrative voice that’s a little artificial, not quite my own.” As a person, Davis is tactful if particular; the speakers of her stories tend to be grand and hysterical, flies in bottles, frustrated by obstacles they can’t see. The woman who goes over and over a sequence of events, trying to establish whether her lover is being unfaithful; the man who calculates the cost per hour of a ten-day affair. (Those two examples come from “Break It Down,” her first full-length book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1986. That author photo—her frank gaze—gave rise to at least one come-on letter.) “The narrators are overthinking, and the overthinking tends to be funny, but the overthinking tends to be rooted in strong feeling,” Lorin Stein, who worked with her on two later books at FSG and is now the editor of The Paris Review, says. “You have the sense of characters who have a strong motivation to do something absurd and unproductive.”

“I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators,” Davis said. “I’ll see a kind of mousy, earnest person at a reading, a woman with limp, long, dark hair, kind of very woebegone and sincere.” Some of her narrators, she thinks, are desperate to be understood. “That’s why they go into too much detail,” she said. “ ‘In case you didn’t quite get it, let me explain further.’ ”

When Davis was younger, the obsessions of her narrators tended to be amorous; now they are philosophical. “The Two Davises and the Rug,” in the new collection, is the story of two people named Davis, who “were not married to each other and they were not related by blood.” They are kindred nonetheless: “They were both indecisive people, or rather, they could be very decisive about some things, important things, or things to do with their work, but they could be very indecisive about smaller things, and change their minds from one day to the next, over and over again, being completely decided in favor of something one day and then completely decided against the same thing the next day.”

In the story, “this Davis” decides to sell a red-white-and-black wool rug at a yard sale to benefit a good cause. The rug has been lying in her son’s room, but her son doesn’t live at home anymore. At the yard sale, “the other Davis” considers buying it but doesn’t. By the time he has decided that he wants the rug, this Davis has decided to keep it. For the next twelve hundred words, this Davis worries extravagantly: should she, who had not really valued the rug until someone else desired it, keep it, or should she let the other Davis, whose house is “clean and tidy and thoughtfully arranged,” have it? Which one of them deserves it?

Davis did the same thing with a rug a few years ago, after Theo, her son with Cote, went away to college. “With that story, I’m not leaving out anything relevant,” she says. “But the obsessive quality is exaggerated. A lot is true, the ins and outs of reasoning, but a lot of normal life went on the same. In the story, you get the impression that the rug was the only thing happening. In real life, it’s just one strand. It’s, O.K., let’s see what happens if this rug and this dilemma becomes everything.”

For a contemplative, Davis is remarkably social. When Daniel was a baby, she joined a softball team; later, when Theo was young, she took a line-dancing class. She escapes herself, and the house, given half an opportunity—to collect stories for an oral history of the village, to sit on a town zoning board. “I don’t go into it thinking I need material,” she says. “I follow my interests pretty—I don’t like the word ‘intuitively.’ I follow them in a kind of natural way, without questioning them too much. Alan tries to be the brake on my impulses.”

Cote’s reservations have not stopped Davis from running for a seat on the governing board of her village. One snowy Saturday morning in late January, she had plans to go door to door collecting signatures with “the other Davis,” whose name is Bill, and who was running for reëlection. For her nominating petition, she needed signatures from five per cent of the previous election’s voters, which amounted to two or three people. (The village has a population of five hundred and seventy-one.) The mayor told her they didn’t really pay attention to Democrat or Republican, and suggested she make up her own affiliation, so she is running as a member of the Schoolhouse Party. “I’m interested to see on a small scale how people get along or don’t get along,” she said.

The temperature was ten degrees. Davis got a clipboard and a notebook and put on her winter coat. She was excited. “But they’re all people you know,” Cote said. When Bill Davis arrived, they drove half a mile down the road, to Helen and John Mullaly’s house. John, once a teacher at Davis and Cote’s schoolhouse, had recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday. Helen, a former head nurse, was in her late eighties. The Davises stayed for more than an hour, listening to their stories, in an overheated dining room crowded with clocks and photographs and figurines. Twice, John showed them a picture, cut from a newspaper, of Davos, Switzerland, where he had been during the Second World War. “Cleared the summit, met the Pope, pushed back the Germans,” he said. When Helen mentioned that the house had been owned by a doctor, who kept a log which she had found in the attic, Lydia’s eyes shone. The different clocks ticked out of time.

Later, Davis said, “I’m kind of always working, in a sense. Sitting and talking to my neighbors, I’m not really working, but I’m always sort of alert to things.” Two things had struck her particularly: the objects in the dining room, and Helen’s remark, as they left, that she loved driving in snowstorms the way some people love skiing—the opposite of a cliché about an old lady. (Davis, unexpectedly, plays tin whistle and Ping-Pong, and several years ago publicly sang scenes from “The Magic Flute” dressed as a witch, in a cast made up mostly of teen-agers.) “I’m not bored,” Davis said. “I don’t like the high-powered literary life. I’d rather sit and listen to Helen and John and their stories than be at a cocktail party in New York.”

On their rounds, the two Davises had stopped in at Bill’s place, a white clapboard house with a single dormer window. “See how clean and nice it is?” Lydia said, entering a dining room with an open fireplace and a Shaker rake on the wall. Susan Shapiro, Bill’s wife, was inside. Naturally, the rug came up for discussion. “Where would it have gone?” Lydia asked. “We had picked out a spot in Mark’s room,” Bill said. “Now I feel guilty!” she said. The rug was still upstairs in her house, in Theo’s rarely used bedroom.

Both Davises asked Shapiro for her signature. Shapiro looked at them wryly and said, “The Two Davises and the Village Board.”

Evasion is the shadow side of overwrought explanation: dwelling on minutiae can mask a problem of unspeakable magnitude. In “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” when Davis objects to the company’s use of the portmanteau word “cremains” in reference to her father—before his death, the company had called him her “loved one”—distress over vocabulary stands in for mortal rage. What is left out gives the shape to what remains. Fictionalizing real events, Davis says, has to do with the selection of material, in the way of a teen-ager recounting to her mother how an evening was spent: “We went over to Joan’s house and hung out and listened to music, and then we went to McDonald’s.” Not the part about the vodka in the orange juice, not the part about the making out. Not a lie, just a different story.

For the most part, Davis leaves her children out of it. They represent a grammar problem in “A Double Negative”: “At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.” In “Selfish,” which Davis calls “a tongue-in-cheek monologue about parenting that’s less painful,” her children, unnamed and featureless, are faint but pervasive, stubborn as ghosts. “The useful thing about being a selfish person is that when your children get hurt you don’t mind so much because you yourself are all right,” she writes. Difficulty arises from not being quite selfish enough:

If you are just a little selfish, you take some trouble over them, you pay some attention to them, they have clean clothes most of the time, a fresh haircut fairly often, though not all the supplies they need for school, or not when they need them; you enjoy them, you laugh at their jokes, though you have little patience when they are naughty, they annoy you when you have work to do, and when they are very naughty you become very angry; you understand some of what they should have, in their lives, you know some of what they are doing, with their friends, you ask questions, though not very many, and not beyond a certain point, because there is so little time; then the trouble begins and you don’t notice signs of it because you are so busy; they steal, and you wonder how that thing came into the house; they show you what they have stolen, and when you ask questions, they lie; when they lie, you believe them, every time, because they seem so candid and it would take so long to find out the truth.
Incomplete selfishness, like a vaccination that doesn’t take, cannot protect against suffering. The only foolproof approach is to be totally selfish, to the point of being “privately relieved, glad, even delighted, that it isn’t happening to you.” In an e-mail, Davis wrote to me, “The narrator takes a pose. Or I take a pose through a confident narrator—in the beginning. Then—as so often happens in actual conversation—once one begins discussing a situation in detail, reliving it, one’s emotions change, one’s relation to the material changes. And that’s what happens in the story. When the narrator goes into detail, about the stealing and the lying, then she loses some of that confidence. She ends up pushing the difficult material away, saying, Don’t let it get near me.”

That story, with its shifting sense of culpability, is the closest Davis comes to describing her struggles with Daniel. As a teen-ager, he started going to clubs in New York City and became deeply involved with drugs. In 1996, when he was eighteen, he was present in the apartment when a dealer named Andre Melendez was murdered by Michael Alig, a former club promoter, and his roommate, Robert Riggs. Auster was given three thousand dollars of Melendez’s money in exchange for his silence, and later pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and served a five-year probation. A decade ago, Hustvedt published a best-selling novel, “What I Loved,” which reimagines the events with all the obliquity of an episode of “Law & Order.” The story features a troubled boy whose mother, a poet, produces work that is “scrupulous, concise, and invested with the comedy inherent in distance.” Hustvedt describes the poet herself as “all boarded up and shut down like a condemned house.”

Lifting from life, Davis is cautious. She tends to ask her friends for permission before including them in stories. “I don’t really want to offend people, so I try to avoid it,” she said. “It’s a shock to see yourself depicted in someone’s writing, even if it’s not particularly negative. It’s a matter of being taken away and used.” Her mechanisms can be subtle, though—a change of gender, or of name, or less. Mitch Sisskind recalled being in a bookstore, leafing through a literary journal. “I started reading this story and saw that one of the characters was me, by name,” he said. “I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never known anyone else that did that. I was flattered, but I was surprised.” She had referred to him as Mitchell, which no one does, thinking that it would disguise his identity.

A few years ago, when Harper’s was preparing to publish “Varieties of Disturbance,” a story about Davis’s mother, who was then still alive, Davis asked Daniel’s advice. (He lives in Florida and works at a performance space.) He suggested a small cut to spare his grandmother’s feelings. When the piece was collected in a book of the same name (a finalist for the National Book Award), she had died, and Davis restored the damning phrase, also at his suggestion.

“Hurting children is where I would draw the line,” Davis told me one evening, sitting in the kitchen with Cote. “A husband—you can hurt a husband. He does have to O.K. everything.” She turned to Cote. “You veto. But of course it’s not really fair to him, because then he’s called on to be gentlemanly.”

“There’s certain private stuff I don’t think is relevant,” Cote said.

“You’ve put up with it.”

“I was generous.”

“He’d have to think it’s a good piece of writing,” she said. “But the children are off limits.”

In her twenties, in Paris, Davis got about two-thirds of the way through “Swann’s Way,” in French, carefully writing down vocabulary and making notes. For the next thirty years, she earned a living mostly through translating. In a talk on the subject, she described her body of work as “books of all degrees of excellence and non-excellence, of interest and no interest . . . including a sentimental biography of Marie Curie, various histories of Chinese politics, art catalogues, the strange novels of Pierre Jean Jouve, a volume of travel essays by Michel Butor, and several books of fiction and literary philosophy by Maurice Blanchot.”

In 1997, Davis agreed to translate “Swann’s Way” for a new edition of “In Search of Lost Time.” She had never read the version by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, whose enhanced Edwardian style may be the reason most readers in English flag after a volume or two, and she didn’t read it then. She started working through the French, page by page, not skipping ahead to see what came next. “Just the way I wouldn’t write anything, even an e-mail, if it wasn’t decently written, the translation has to be good right away,” she told me. “I write it quickly but well, so that some of the time I would feel like a sieve or funnel, or maybe ‘pipeline’ is a better word.”

When she finished her draft, she looked carefully at the previous translations, particularly Scott Moncrieff’s. “Proust is plainer in his language and more straightforward and in a way more contemporary than the translation,” she says. “My aim was to stay very close.” The response to what one critic called Davis’s “sans-serif version,” published in 2003, was reserved: some reviewers felt that her accuracy—which kept intact word order and punctuation, and often preferred an obscure cognate to a flashier English rendering—came at the expense of felicity. The Times, however, praised her “fine rigor and exactitude.”

The book’s success is as important to Davis as that of any of her fictions. “I’m more jealous, almost, of my translations,” she says. “I really want my Proust to take the place of the Scott Moncrieff, because I think it’s closer.”

Davis’s downstairs office has rose-pink floor-length curtains, a space heater, and a cat. Small shelves are filled with books—“Studies in Lowland Scots,” “Famous Dogs in Fiction”—relevant to “Bob, Son of Battle,” a children’s book, published in 1898, that she read as a child and is now “translating” from tricky Victorian English into language a present-day Brearley girl could manage. Her desk is two file cabinets with a board laid across the top. Above it, on a bulletin board, is a homemade family tree that traces her connections to an ancestor whose description of life in a nineteenth-century New England village she has fashioned into verse. A photocopied page from an old notebook serves as another kind of genealogy, some two hundred years’ worth of fiction writers, from Swift to Hemingway. “I found it and thought, Well, that’s worth looking at every now and again,” she said. “I don’t really have the picture in my head. I probably did it when I was quite young. I was always trying to learn and remember.”

It is not only the act of writing that forces Davis to write fiction; reading is a danger, too. “I don’t need to go to other writers to get excited,” she says. “The problem is almost the opposite. Certain kinds of writing will give me too many ideas. I have to keep stopping and reacting.” She recently got a collection of lectures Roland Barthes gave at the Sorbonne. “I found that there were so many interesting ideas in one paragraph that I almost couldn’t read it.”

E-mail can be equally threatening. In the office, Davis opened up her account to a folder of messages from the Listserv at Bard College, where she used to teach occasionally and where Cote was on the faculty for three decades. Material, practically ready-made. Here was a message from a woman named Lisa Hedges, wondering if anyone had seen her glasses. “I loved her name,” Davis said. “This is what it started as: ‘Round, faux tortoiseshell glasses, bifocal lenses, lost sometime Friday, between the Nursery School, B Village, A Sacred Space. It would be great if somebody has found them and they aren’t in a place covered in a foot of snow!’ ”

What it became:

Personal Announcement
Woman named Shrubbs
Has lost faux tortoiseshell eyeglasses

Where?
Somewhere between nursery school
and sacred space

They are possibly
covered by snow.
“This is very vestigial,” Davis said. “Or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.” Sometimes the longer something sits, the more finished it seems. A little while later, she said, “When you’re spying, when you’re looking, when you’re on the alert for a story, part of it is seeing the thing in isolation, apart from the normalizing context.”

Found objects emerge frequently as source and as finished work. (“An Example of the Continuing Past Tense in a Hotel Room”: “Your housekeeper has been Shelly.”) Davis sees this repurposing as thrift. She says, “My grandmother, my mother, and me—we were always making do and saving, very economical. I like the idea that the writing would belong to that practical tradition.”

Even now, much of Davis’s writing has its first life in obscure literary magazines. All the editors have to do is ask. If she likes the cover letter, and feels she can trust them, she’ll send work. In small magazines she feels free to experiment. “There’s an opposition between what’s good for my career and what’s good for my writing,” she said, walking back into the kitchen, where Cote was waiting for his lunch. “What’s good for my writing is these little places.”

“You’re building your fan base,” Cote said.

“I don’t think I’d ever think of it as ‘building my fan base.’ I would never sit back and do that intentionally.”

“Then they go on YouTube and start talking about it,” Cote said.

“I really like being read by young people,” Davis said. “I love it that friends of my son Theo, who is twenty-five, will say, ‘Is your mother Lydia Davis? I love her work. ’ ”

In 2001, Davis published a book with McSweeney’s, after Dave Eggers wrote her a fan letter. New, young readers found in her work an idiosyncratic approach to the problem of storytelling, something handmade or unmade, each story like a cool thing from an old junk shop. The title piece—“Samuel Johnson Is Indignant:”—was one line long: “that Scotland has so few trees.” (Humor, language, emotion.) “That’s such a radical act and so liberating to put that on a page and call it finished,” Eggers told me. “For those of us who are attracted to people who make room for new ways of defining a short story or who defy categorization at all, she was a real hero.”

By the time FSG published her “Collected,” in 2009, American fiction had more fully accommodated itself to the insubstantial. Everything is too hard to understand until it isn’t. For the first time, Davis’s writing was acknowledged as belonging to an American tradition. Jonathan Galassi, the president and publisher of FSG, says, “People caught up with her.”

“I have to guard against the tendency—I could make anything into a story,” Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to her literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. “I was trying just to write instructions, you know, ‘My notebooks should go here,’ ‘You should look through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,’ ” she said. “But it began to get too elaborate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn’t a straightforward document any more. I didn’t really want it to be a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor.” She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. ♦

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an abstract painter, in a tiny village in Rensselaer County, New York. Cote is large, warm, taciturn, and wears a mustache. Their house is a converted elementary school, built in 1930 by the W.P.A.: neo-Georgian, brick, with Boston ivy and fifteen-foot ceilings. He paints in the gymnasium; the bathtub is in the teachers’ lounge. On the fence outside, a sign made from found sticks spells “L’Ecole.”

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. “I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle,” she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month’s selection for her book club—local women, wine, family talk—was full of mixed metaphors. “I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake,” she said. “A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something’s wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is.” She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. “Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor,” she said. She read another: “ ‘A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.’ I thought about that. You’d think he could get away with it, but he can’t, because ‘stuffed’ is a verb that comes from material. It’s soft, so it’s a problem to stuff it with something hard.” There were sentences about camouflaging with a veneer, and girding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. “Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison,” she said.

But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author’s photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. “I just write down one sentence,” she said. “This would be me assuming a kind of yenta voice: ‘Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.’ ” She smiled. “It’s me feeling a little sorry that I’m writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so friendly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don’t look so innocent.”

In the summer of 1973, when Davis was twenty-six, she and her boyfriend Paul Auster went to live in the South of France, as caretakers of an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse with a red tile roof and an enclosed garden. They had been in Paris for two years already, translating French novels and poems and art catalogues and film scripts—sometimes the pay amounted to five dollars a page—and working assiduously on their own writing.

At Barnard, where Davis went to college, she had been a distracted student, occasionally accompanying Auster to his classes at Columbia rather than attending her own. (They met in the spring of their freshman year.) They played touch football and one-on-one basketball. Davis had long honey-colored hair and a dreamy affect. “She had pheromones, and men and boys followed her around panting,” an old friend said.

Auster was sunken-eyed and soulful, with a cocked eyebrow, or, as he puts it, “a dark-haired Jewish boy from New Jersey with a public-school education.” Davis had gone to Brearley, and then to Putney, a boarding school with farm work, in Vermont. Her father, Robert Gorham Davis, taught English at Columbia—modern short stories—and her mother, Hope Hale Davis, wrote fiction for women’s magazines and occasionally for The New Yorker. First they were Communists, then liberals (he was questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities); always they were avid party-givers. Lionel Trilling came to the apartment, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Edward Said. In memoirs, Auster portrays himself as helplessly impressed by Davis, loving more than he was loved. He writes, “For the most part you were the pursuer, and she alternated between resisting your advances and wanting to be caught.” Among their friends—“arcane, avant-garde intellectuals,” Mitch Sisskind, who was one of them, said—Davis was the eccentric. “We were all reading Kafka,” he told me. “She read Kafka, too—and you can see the influence—but she also read ‘The Making of a Surgeon.’ ”

In the country, Auster wrote poems; Davis struggled to write traditional short stories, of the kind her parents admired. (Later, they would say, Why don’t you write about your travels or something more cheerful?) She copied out lines of Beckett to understand how the sentences functioned, and tacked them to the wall. The stories, however, were too masterly to imitate. She read mysteries, weighed herself, threw pebbles in an urn. She tried to make herself stay at her desk till lunch. Auster, on the other hand, could easily work all day.

At the end of August, Davis happened to read a strange little book of very short stories by the poet Russell Edson. Here was a contemporary, an American, whose stories, unlike those of her literary heroes, sometimes failed. Within days, she had started writing strange little stories of her own. She set a goal, two per day. “I didn’t think too hard about what I was going to do,” she told me. “I just snatched an idea from the air, I just went with it, and I didn’t think about what the meaning was of the story, and I still don’t like to do that.” She started to enjoy herself. A month after reading Edson, she wrote “The Thirteenth Woman,” a hundred-and-thirty-eight-word story in two sentences, which she sees as “the first seminal story.” The same day, she wrote “The Transformation,” a page-long fable about a woman who turns into a stone. She worked in a plain cardboard notebook, with a studied hand. “Must conquer this afternoon malaise,” one late-September entry starts, followed by six stories. “She would get an idea, three or four sentences or a paragraph, and she would write it clean off the top of her head and that would be it,” Auster told me. “The stuff she labored over never turned out as successfully.”

Anything Davis wrote might turn, unbidden, into fiction. In her notebook, she composed a letter to her friend Jack LeVert (part of their Kafka-reading, touch-football-playing crowd), who was planning to visit them at the farmhouse:

If you were to look in on us, you would be amazed at the elegance in which we live. You would see us sweep into the driveway in a pale green station wagon, casually pat our thoroughbreds as we entered our restored, pre-revolutionary home with its thick beams and red tiled floors. . . . You would see us during the day with dreamy looks in our eyes writing poetry and little dibs and dabs of nothing, as though we had been born to idleness. Perhaps I would invite you to go sketching and we would take the folding chairs and our pads of sketch paper. Perhaps later we would listen to an opera from where we lounged beside the bright medieval fireplace, our Labradors sleeping at our feet on their deerskin rug. But as dinnertime approached you would notice that we grew nervous. At first it would be hardly perceptible, the smallest haunted look in our eyes, a dark shadow on our faces. You would intercept embarrassed glances. I would blush suddenly and turn pale and when dinner arrived, though the pottery were of the finest quality, hand turned, and the mats from Japan and the napkins from India, the beans would stick in your throat, the carrots would break the tines of your fork and you would recognize the taste of cat. How much more painful is poverty for the caretakers.

“The new piece of paper you like to keep on your desk came in.”
BUY OR LICENSE »
The hardship was romantic, self-imposed. “We both came from families that had enough money to rescue us,” Davis said. “This was all our own choice, really. It was for our so-called art.” When they finally ran out of money, they returned to New York, nine dollars between them. Davis’s father helped get them an apartment on Riverside Drive, and they were married there in the fall of 1974. (Auster, in “Winter Journal,” a memoir: “Given the frequent changes of heart that had afflicted the two of you from the beginning, the constant comings and goings, the affairs with other people, the breakups and makeups that followed one another as regularly as the changing of the seasons, the thought that either one of you should have considered marriage at this point now strikes you as an act of delusional folly.” Davis: “I read about some town in Northern California, where the pastor at the church—or is it the law?—said you’re not allowed to get married without three or four visits to the pastoral counselor ahead of time to discuss your expectations or habits or needs. It’s worked out very well. People don’t get divorced.”) Davis briefly studied to become a speech therapist. Instead, she and Auster moved to Berkeley and published a collection of her pieces, “The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories,” in an edition of five hundred. The poets in their circle loved it.

The following year, expecting a child, they bought an old house in Dutchess County—a cursed house, according to Auster, who found “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a box on the back porch and a dried-up crow, like an omen, behind a chest of drawers. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1977, and when he was eighteen months old they separated. Auster moved back to the city, and, after they divorced, married the novelist Siri Hustvedt. Eventually, Davis moved back, too, and lived a few blocks from them in Brooklyn to make it easier for Daniel to go back and forth. Davis worked as a typesetter at a small Brooklyn newspaper; the checks the paper wrote her bounced.

The question of what constitutes a story is troublesome. E. M. Forster wrote, “ ‘The king died and then the queen died’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.” Davis’s stories have very little in the way of plot; sometimes people get indignant and ask her why she doesn’t call them poems or fragments. (She prefers the deeper associations of the word “story.”) Like thoughts, her pieces are reiterative; she sooner makes chronology a subject than a formal device. She says her work arises from a conjunction of humor, language, and emotional difficulty. Sometimes that means high culture, low culture, and animals; that is, a contradiction, plus the life force. Usually, she sets out to answer a single question and tries to stop between incomprehensibility (too little detail) and boredom (too much). Her longer pieces slacken and drift, but at fifteen hundred words the line is taut. As one of her narrators says, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long.” Even poets find her concentration bracing. Matthew Zapruder, a poet and editor who keeps Davis’s “Collected Stories” on his shelf and turns to it whenever he needs a jolt, says, “It almost feels like a challenge to poetry. She can do this, why can’t we?”

“By fiction now I just mean a construct that’s a little different from reality,” Davis told me. “One aspect of that is a narrative voice that’s a little artificial, not quite my own.” As a person, Davis is tactful if particular; the speakers of her stories tend to be grand and hysterical, flies in bottles, frustrated by obstacles they can’t see. The woman who goes over and over a sequence of events, trying to establish whether her lover is being unfaithful; the man who calculates the cost per hour of a ten-day affair. (Those two examples come from “Break It Down,” her first full-length book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1986. That author photo—her frank gaze—gave rise to at least one come-on letter.) “The narrators are overthinking, and the overthinking tends to be funny, but the overthinking tends to be rooted in strong feeling,” Lorin Stein, who worked with her on two later books at FSG and is now the editor of The Paris Review, says. “You have the sense of characters who have a strong motivation to do something absurd and unproductive.”

“I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators,” Davis said. “I’ll see a kind of mousy, earnest person at a reading, a woman with limp, long, dark hair, kind of very woebegone and sincere.” Some of her narrators, she thinks, are desperate to be understood. “That’s why they go into too much detail,” she said. “ ‘In case you didn’t quite get it, let me explain further.’ ”

When Davis was younger, the obsessions of her narrators tended to be amorous; now they are philosophical. “The Two Davises and the Rug,” in the new collection, is the story of two people named Davis, who “were not married to each other and they were not related by blood.” They are kindred nonetheless: “They were both indecisive people, or rather, they could be very decisive about some things, important things, or things to do with their work, but they could be very indecisive about smaller things, and change their minds from one day to the next, over and over again, being completely decided in favor of something one day and then completely decided against the same thing the next day.”

In the story, “this Davis” decides to sell a red-white-and-black wool rug at a yard sale to benefit a good cause. The rug has been lying in her son’s room, but her son doesn’t live at home anymore. At the yard sale, “the other Davis” considers buying it but doesn’t. By the time he has decided that he wants the rug, this Davis has decided to keep it. For the next twelve hundred words, this Davis worries extravagantly: should she, who had not really valued the rug until someone else desired it, keep it, or should she let the other Davis, whose house is “clean and tidy and thoughtfully arranged,” have it? Which one of them deserves it?

Davis did the same thing with a rug a few years ago, after Theo, her son with Cote, went away to college. “With that story, I’m not leaving out anything relevant,” she says. “But the obsessive quality is exaggerated. A lot is true, the ins and outs of reasoning, but a lot of normal life went on the same. In the story, you get the impression that the rug was the only thing happening. In real life, it’s just one strand. It’s, O.K., let’s see what happens if this rug and this dilemma becomes everything.”

For a contemplative, Davis is remarkably social. When Daniel was a baby, she joined a softball team; later, when Theo was young, she took a line-dancing class. She escapes herself, and the house, given half an opportunity—to collect stories for an oral history of the village, to sit on a town zoning board. “I don’t go into it thinking I need material,” she says. “I follow my interests pretty—I don’t like the word ‘intuitively.’ I follow them in a kind of natural way, without questioning them too much. Alan tries to be the brake on my impulses.”

Cote’s reservations have not stopped Davis from running for a seat on the governing board of her village. One snowy Saturday morning in late January, she had plans to go door to door collecting signatures with “the other Davis,” whose name is Bill, and who was running for reëlection. For her nominating petition, she needed signatures from five per cent of the previous election’s voters, which amounted to two or three people. (The village has a population of five hundred and seventy-one.) The mayor told her they didn’t really pay attention to Democrat or Republican, and suggested she make up her own affiliation, so she is running as a member of the Schoolhouse Party. “I’m interested to see on a small scale how people get along or don’t get along,” she said.

The temperature was ten degrees. Davis got a clipboard and a notebook and put on her winter coat. She was excited. “But they’re all people you know,” Cote said. When Bill Davis arrived, they drove half a mile down the road, to Helen and John Mullaly’s house. John, once a teacher at Davis and Cote’s schoolhouse, had recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday. Helen, a former head nurse, was in her late eighties. The Davises stayed for more than an hour, listening to their stories, in an overheated dining room crowded with clocks and photographs and figurines. Twice, John showed them a picture, cut from a newspaper, of Davos, Switzerland, where he had been during the Second World War. “Cleared the summit, met the Pope, pushed back the Germans,” he said. When Helen mentioned that the house had been owned by a doctor, who kept a log which she had found in the attic, Lydia’s eyes shone. The different clocks ticked out of time.

Later, Davis said, “I’m kind of always working, in a sense. Sitting and talking to my neighbors, I’m not really working, but I’m always sort of alert to things.” Two things had struck her particularly: the objects in the dining room, and Helen’s remark, as they left, that she loved driving in snowstorms the way some people love skiing—the opposite of a cliché about an old lady. (Davis, unexpectedly, plays tin whistle and Ping-Pong, and several years ago publicly sang scenes from “The Magic Flute” dressed as a witch, in a cast made up mostly of teen-agers.) “I’m not bored,” Davis said. “I don’t like the high-powered literary life. I’d rather sit and listen to Helen and John and their stories than be at a cocktail party in New York.”

On their rounds, the two Davises had stopped in at Bill’s place, a white clapboard house with a single dormer window. “See how clean and nice it is?” Lydia said, entering a dining room with an open fireplace and a Shaker rake on the wall. Susan Shapiro, Bill’s wife, was inside. Naturally, the rug came up for discussion. “Where would it have gone?” Lydia asked. “We had picked out a spot in Mark’s room,” Bill said. “Now I feel guilty!” she said. The rug was still upstairs in her house, in Theo’s rarely used bedroom.

Both Davises asked Shapiro for her signature. Shapiro looked at them wryly and said, “The Two Davises and the Village Board.”

Evasion is the shadow side of overwrought explanation: dwelling on minutiae can mask a problem of unspeakable magnitude. In “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” when Davis objects to the company’s use of the portmanteau word “cremains” in reference to her father—before his death, the company had called him her “loved one”—distress over vocabulary stands in for mortal rage. What is left out gives the shape to what remains. Fictionalizing real events, Davis says, has to do with the selection of material, in the way of a teen-ager recounting to her mother how an evening was spent: “We went over to Joan’s house and hung out and listened to music, and then we went to McDonald’s.” Not the part about the vodka in the orange juice, not the part about the making out. Not a lie, just a different story.

For the most part, Davis leaves her children out of it. They represent a grammar problem in “A Double Negative”: “At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.” In “Selfish,” which Davis calls “a tongue-in-cheek monologue about parenting that’s less painful,” her children, unnamed and featureless, are faint but pervasive, stubborn as ghosts. “The useful thing about being a selfish person is that when your children get hurt you don’t mind so much because you yourself are all right,” she writes. Difficulty arises from not being quite selfish enough:

If you are just a little selfish, you take some trouble over them, you pay some attention to them, they have clean clothes most of the time, a fresh haircut fairly often, though not all the supplies they need for school, or not when they need them; you enjoy them, you laugh at their jokes, though you have little patience when they are naughty, they annoy you when you have work to do, and when they are very naughty you become very angry; you understand some of what they should have, in their lives, you know some of what they are doing, with their friends, you ask questions, though not very many, and not beyond a certain point, because there is so little time; then the trouble begins and you don’t notice signs of it because you are so busy; they steal, and you wonder how that thing came into the house; they show you what they have stolen, and when you ask questions, they lie; when they lie, you believe them, every time, because they seem so candid and it would take so long to find out the truth.
Incomplete selfishness, like a vaccination that doesn’t take, cannot protect against suffering. The only foolproof approach is to be totally selfish, to the point of being “privately relieved, glad, even delighted, that it isn’t happening to you.” In an e-mail, Davis wrote to me, “The narrator takes a pose. Or I take a pose through a confident narrator—in the beginning. Then—as so often happens in actual conversation—once one begins discussing a situation in detail, reliving it, one’s emotions change, one’s relation to the material changes. And that’s what happens in the story. When the narrator goes into detail, about the stealing and the lying, then she loses some of that confidence. She ends up pushing the difficult material away, saying, Don’t let it get near me.”

That story, with its shifting sense of culpability, is the closest Davis comes to describing her struggles with Daniel. As a teen-ager, he started going to clubs in New York City and became deeply involved with drugs. In 1996, when he was eighteen, he was present in the apartment when a dealer named Andre Melendez was murdered by Michael Alig, a former club promoter, and his roommate, Robert Riggs. Auster was given three thousand dollars of Melendez’s money in exchange for his silence, and later pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and served a five-year probation. A decade ago, Hustvedt published a best-selling novel, “What I Loved,” which reimagines the events with all the obliquity of an episode of “Law & Order.” The story features a troubled boy whose mother, a poet, produces work that is “scrupulous, concise, and invested with the comedy inherent in distance.” Hustvedt describes the poet herself as “all boarded up and shut down like a condemned house.”

Lifting from life, Davis is cautious. She tends to ask her friends for permission before including them in stories. “I don’t really want to offend people, so I try to avoid it,” she said. “It’s a shock to see yourself depicted in someone’s writing, even if it’s not particularly negative. It’s a matter of being taken away and used.” Her mechanisms can be subtle, though—a change of gender, or of name, or less. Mitch Sisskind recalled being in a bookstore, leafing through a literary journal. “I started reading this story and saw that one of the characters was me, by name,” he said. “I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never known anyone else that did that. I was flattered, but I was surprised.” She had referred to him as Mitchell, which no one does, thinking that it would disguise his identity.

A few years ago, when Harper’s was preparing to publish “Varieties of Disturbance,” a story about Davis’s mother, who was then still alive, Davis asked Daniel’s advice. (He lives in Florida and works at a performance space.) He suggested a small cut to spare his grandmother’s feelings. When the piece was collected in a book of the same name (a finalist for the National Book Award), she had died, and Davis restored the damning phrase, also at his suggestion.

“Hurting children is where I would draw the line,” Davis told me one evening, sitting in the kitchen with Cote. “A husband—you can hurt a husband. He does have to O.K. everything.” She turned to Cote. “You veto. But of course it’s not really fair to him, because then he’s called on to be gentlemanly.”

“There’s certain private stuff I don’t think is relevant,” Cote said.

“You’ve put up with it.”

“I was generous.”

“He’d have to think it’s a good piece of writing,” she said. “But the children are off limits.”

In her twenties, in Paris, Davis got about two-thirds of the way through “Swann’s Way,” in French, carefully writing down vocabulary and making notes. For the next thirty years, she earned a living mostly through translating. In a talk on the subject, she described her body of work as “books of all degrees of excellence and non-excellence, of interest and no interest . . . including a sentimental biography of Marie Curie, various histories of Chinese politics, art catalogues, the strange novels of Pierre Jean Jouve, a volume of travel essays by Michel Butor, and several books of fiction and literary philosophy by Maurice Blanchot.”

In 1997, Davis agreed to translate “Swann’s Way” for a new edition of “In Search of Lost Time.” She had never read the version by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, whose enhanced Edwardian style may be the reason most readers in English flag after a volume or two, and she didn’t read it then. She started working through the French, page by page, not skipping ahead to see what came next. “Just the way I wouldn’t write anything, even an e-mail, if it wasn’t decently written, the translation has to be good right away,” she told me. “I write it quickly but well, so that some of the time I would feel like a sieve or funnel, or maybe ‘pipeline’ is a better word.”

When she finished her draft, she looked carefully at the previous translations, particularly Scott Moncrieff’s. “Proust is plainer in his language and more straightforward and in a way more contemporary than the translation,” she says. “My aim was to stay very close.” The response to what one critic called Davis’s “sans-serif version,” published in 2003, was reserved: some reviewers felt that her accuracy—which kept intact word order and punctuation, and often preferred an obscure cognate to a flashier English rendering—came at the expense of felicity. The Times, however, praised her “fine rigor and exactitude.”

The book’s success is as important to Davis as that of any of her fictions. “I’m more jealous, almost, of my translations,” she says. “I really want my Proust to take the place of the Scott Moncrieff, because I think it’s closer.”

Davis’s downstairs office has rose-pink floor-length curtains, a space heater, and a cat. Small shelves are filled with books—“Studies in Lowland Scots,” “Famous Dogs in Fiction”—relevant to “Bob, Son of Battle,” a children’s book, published in 1898, that she read as a child and is now “translating” from tricky Victorian English into language a present-day Brearley girl could manage. Her desk is two file cabinets with a board laid across the top. Above it, on a bulletin board, is a homemade family tree that traces her connections to an ancestor whose description of life in a nineteenth-century New England village she has fashioned into verse. A photocopied page from an old notebook serves as another kind of genealogy, some two hundred years’ worth of fiction writers, from Swift to Hemingway. “I found it and thought, Well, that’s worth looking at every now and again,” she said. “I don’t really have the picture in my head. I probably did it when I was quite young. I was always trying to learn and remember.”

It is not only the act of writing that forces Davis to write fiction; reading is a danger, too. “I don’t need to go to other writers to get excited,” she says. “The problem is almost the opposite. Certain kinds of writing will give me too many ideas. I have to keep stopping and reacting.” She recently got a collection of lectures Roland Barthes gave at the Sorbonne. “I found that there were so many interesting ideas in one paragraph that I almost couldn’t read it.”

E-mail can be equally threatening. In the office, Davis opened up her account to a folder of messages from the Listserv at Bard College, where she used to teach occasionally and where Cote was on the faculty for three decades. Material, practically ready-made. Here was a message from a woman named Lisa Hedges, wondering if anyone had seen her glasses. “I loved her name,” Davis said. “This is what it started as: ‘Round, faux tortoiseshell glasses, bifocal lenses, lost sometime Friday, between the Nursery School, B Village, A Sacred Space. It would be great if somebody has found them and they aren’t in a place covered in a foot of snow!’ ”

What it became:

Personal Announcement
Woman named Shrubbs
Has lost faux tortoiseshell eyeglasses

Where?
Somewhere between nursery school
and sacred space

They are possibly
covered by snow.
“This is very vestigial,” Davis said. “Or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.” Sometimes the longer something sits, the more finished it seems. A little while later, she said, “When you’re spying, when you’re looking, when you’re on the alert for a story, part of it is seeing the thing in isolation, apart from the normalizing context.”

Found objects emerge frequently as source and as finished work. (“An Example of the Continuing Past Tense in a Hotel Room”: “Your housekeeper has been Shelly.”) Davis sees this repurposing as thrift. She says, “My grandmother, my mother, and me—we were always making do and saving, very economical. I like the idea that the writing would belong to that practical tradition.”

Even now, much of Davis’s writing has its first life in obscure literary magazines. All the editors have to do is ask. If she likes the cover letter, and feels she can trust them, she’ll send work. In small magazines she feels free to experiment. “There’s an opposition between what’s good for my career and what’s good for my writing,” she said, walking back into the kitchen, where Cote was waiting for his lunch. “What’s good for my writing is these little places.”

“You’re building your fan base,” Cote said.

“I don’t think I’d ever think of it as ‘building my fan base.’ I would never sit back and do that intentionally.”

“Then they go on YouTube and start talking about it,” Cote said.

“I really like being read by young people,” Davis said. “I love it that friends of my son Theo, who is twenty-five, will say, ‘Is your mother Lydia Davis? I love her work. ’ ”

In 2001, Davis published a book with McSweeney’s, after Dave Eggers wrote her a fan letter. New, young readers found in her work an idiosyncratic approach to the problem of storytelling, something handmade or unmade, each story like a cool thing from an old junk shop. The title piece—“Samuel Johnson Is Indignant:”—was one line long: “that Scotland has so few trees.” (Humor, language, emotion.) “That’s such a radical act and so liberating to put that on a page and call it finished,” Eggers told me. “For those of us who are attracted to people who make room for new ways of defining a short story or who defy categorization at all, she was a real hero.”

By the time FSG published her “Collected,” in 2009, American fiction had more fully accommodated itself to the insubstantial. Everything is too hard to understand until it isn’t. For the first time, Davis’s writing was acknowledged as belonging to an American tradition. Jonathan Galassi, the president and publisher of FSG, says, “People caught up with her.”

“I have to guard against the tendency—I could make anything into a story,” Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to her literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. “I was trying just to write instructions, you know, ‘My notebooks should go here,’ ‘You should look through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,’ ” she said. “But it began to get too elaborate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn’t a straightforward document any more. I didn’t really want it to be a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor.” She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. ♦

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an abstract painter, in a tiny village in Rensselaer County, New York. Cote is large, warm, taciturn, and wears a mustache. Their house is a converted elementary school, built in 1930 by the W.P.A.: neo-Georgian, brick, with Boston ivy and fifteen-foot ceilings. He paints in the gymnasium; the bathtub is in the teachers’ lounge. On the fence outside, a sign made from found sticks spells “L’Ecole.”

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. “I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle,” she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month’s selection for her book club—local women, wine, family talk—was full of mixed metaphors. “I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake,” she said. “A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something’s wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is.” She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. “Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor,” she said. She read another: “ ‘A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.’ I thought about that. You’d think he could get away with it, but he can’t, because ‘stuffed’ is a verb that comes from material. It’s soft, so it’s a problem to stuff it with something hard.” There were sentences about camouflaging with a veneer, and girding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. “Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison,” she said.

But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author’s photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. “I just write down one sentence,” she said. “This would be me assuming a kind of yenta voice: ‘Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.’ ” She smiled. “It’s me feeling a little sorry that I’m writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so friendly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don’t look so innocent.”

In the summer of 1973, when Davis was twenty-six, she and her boyfriend Paul Auster went to live in the South of France, as caretakers of an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse with a red tile roof and an enclosed garden. They had been in Paris for two years already, translating French novels and poems and art catalogues and film scripts—sometimes the pay amounted to five dollars a page—and working assiduously on their own writing.

At Barnard, where Davis went to college, she had been a distracted student, occasionally accompanying Auster to his classes at Columbia rather than attending her own. (They met in the spring of their freshman year.) They played touch football and one-on-one basketball. Davis had long honey-colored hair and a dreamy affect. “She had pheromones, and men and boys followed her around panting,” an old friend said.

Auster was sunken-eyed and soulful, with a cocked eyebrow, or, as he puts it, “a dark-haired Jewish boy from New Jersey with a public-school education.” Davis had gone to Brearley, and then to Putney, a boarding school with farm work, in Vermont. Her father, Robert Gorham Davis, taught English at Columbia—modern short stories—and her mother, Hope Hale Davis, wrote fiction for women’s magazines and occasionally for The New Yorker. First they were Communists, then liberals (he was questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities); always they were avid party-givers. Lionel Trilling came to the apartment, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Edward Said. In memoirs, Auster portrays himself as helplessly impressed by Davis, loving more than he was loved. He writes, “For the most part you were the pursuer, and she alternated between resisting your advances and wanting to be caught.” Among their friends—“arcane, avant-garde intellectuals,” Mitch Sisskind, who was one of them, said—Davis was the eccentric. “We were all reading Kafka,” he told me. “She read Kafka, too—and you can see the influence—but she also read ‘The Making of a Surgeon.’ ”

In the country, Auster wrote poems; Davis struggled to write traditional short stories, of the kind her parents admired. (Later, they would say, Why don’t you write about your travels or something more cheerful?) She copied out lines of Beckett to understand how the sentences functioned, and tacked them to the wall. The stories, however, were too masterly to imitate. She read mysteries, weighed herself, threw pebbles in an urn. She tried to make herself stay at her desk till lunch. Auster, on the other hand, could easily work all day.

At the end of August, Davis happened to read a strange little book of very short stories by the poet Russell Edson. Here was a contemporary, an American, whose stories, unlike those of her literary heroes, sometimes failed. Within days, she had started writing strange little stories of her own. She set a goal, two per day. “I didn’t think too hard about what I was going to do,” she told me. “I just snatched an idea from the air, I just went with it, and I didn’t think about what the meaning was of the story, and I still don’t like to do that.” She started to enjoy herself. A month after reading Edson, she wrote “The Thirteenth Woman,” a hundred-and-thirty-eight-word story in two sentences, which she sees as “the first seminal story.” The same day, she wrote “The Transformation,” a page-long fable about a woman who turns into a stone. She worked in a plain cardboard notebook, with a studied hand. “Must conquer this afternoon malaise,” one late-September entry starts, followed by six stories. “She would get an idea, three or four sentences or a paragraph, and she would write it clean off the top of her head and that would be it,” Auster told me. “The stuff she labored over never turned out as successfully.”

Anything Davis wrote might turn, unbidden, into fiction. In her notebook, she composed a letter to her friend Jack LeVert (part of their Kafka-reading, touch-football-playing crowd), who was planning to visit them at the farmhouse:

If you were to look in on us, you would be amazed at the elegance in which we live. You would see us sweep into the driveway in a pale green station wagon, casually pat our thoroughbreds as we entered our restored, pre-revolutionary home with its thick beams and red tiled floors. . . . You would see us during the day with dreamy looks in our eyes writing poetry and little dibs and dabs of nothing, as though we had been born to idleness. Perhaps I would invite you to go sketching and we would take the folding chairs and our pads of sketch paper. Perhaps later we would listen to an opera from where we lounged beside the bright medieval fireplace, our Labradors sleeping at our feet on their deerskin rug. But as dinnertime approached you would notice that we grew nervous. At first it would be hardly perceptible, the smallest haunted look in our eyes, a dark shadow on our faces. You would intercept embarrassed glances. I would blush suddenly and turn pale and when dinner arrived, though the pottery were of the finest quality, hand turned, and the mats from Japan and the napkins from India, the beans would stick in your throat, the carrots would break the tines of your fork and you would recognize the taste of cat. How much more painful is poverty for the caretakers.

“The new piece of paper you like to keep on your desk came in.”
BUY OR LICENSE »
The hardship was romantic, self-imposed. “We both came from families that had enough money to rescue us,” Davis said. “This was all our own choice, really. It was for our so-called art.” When they finally ran out of money, they returned to New York, nine dollars between them. Davis’s father helped get them an apartment on Riverside Drive, and they were married there in the fall of 1974. (Auster, in “Winter Journal,” a memoir: “Given the frequent changes of heart that had afflicted the two of you from the beginning, the constant comings and goings, the affairs with other people, the breakups and makeups that followed one another as regularly as the changing of the seasons, the thought that either one of you should have considered marriage at this point now strikes you as an act of delusional folly.” Davis: “I read about some town in Northern California, where the pastor at the church—or is it the law?—said you’re not allowed to get married without three or four visits to the pastoral counselor ahead of time to discuss your expectations or habits or needs. It’s worked out very well. People don’t get divorced.”) Davis briefly studied to become a speech therapist. Instead, she and Auster moved to Berkeley and published a collection of her pieces, “The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories,” in an edition of five hundred. The poets in their circle loved it.

The following year, expecting a child, they bought an old house in Dutchess County—a cursed house, according to Auster, who found “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a box on the back porch and a dried-up crow, like an omen, behind a chest of drawers. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1977, and when he was eighteen months old they separated. Auster moved back to the city, and, after they divorced, married the novelist Siri Hustvedt. Eventually, Davis moved back, too, and lived a few blocks from them in Brooklyn to make it easier for Daniel to go back and forth. Davis worked as a typesetter at a small Brooklyn newspaper; the checks the paper wrote her bounced.

The question of what constitutes a story is troublesome. E. M. Forster wrote, “ ‘The king died and then the queen died’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.” Davis’s stories have very little in the way of plot; sometimes people get indignant and ask her why she doesn’t call them poems or fragments. (She prefers the deeper associations of the word “story.”) Like thoughts, her pieces are reiterative; she sooner makes chronology a subject than a formal device. She says her work arises from a conjunction of humor, language, and emotional difficulty. Sometimes that means high culture, low culture, and animals; that is, a contradiction, plus the life force. Usually, she sets out to answer a single question and tries to stop between incomprehensibility (too little detail) and boredom (too much). Her longer pieces slacken and drift, but at fifteen hundred words the line is taut. As one of her narrators says, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long.” Even poets find her concentration bracing. Matthew Zapruder, a poet and editor who keeps Davis’s “Collected Stories” on his shelf and turns to it whenever he needs a jolt, says, “It almost feels like a challenge to poetry. She can do this, why can’t we?”

“By fiction now I just mean a construct that’s a little different from reality,” Davis told me. “One aspect of that is a narrative voice that’s a little artificial, not quite my own.” As a person, Davis is tactful if particular; the speakers of her stories tend to be grand and hysterical, flies in bottles, frustrated by obstacles they can’t see. The woman who goes over and over a sequence of events, trying to establish whether her lover is being unfaithful; the man who calculates the cost per hour of a ten-day affair. (Those two examples come from “Break It Down,” her first full-length book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1986. That author photo—her frank gaze—gave rise to at least one come-on letter.) “The narrators are overthinking, and the overthinking tends to be funny, but the overthinking tends to be rooted in strong feeling,” Lorin Stein, who worked with her on two later books at FSG and is now the editor of The Paris Review, says. “You have the sense of characters who have a strong motivation to do something absurd and unproductive.”

“I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators,” Davis said. “I’ll see a kind of mousy, earnest person at a reading, a woman with limp, long, dark hair, kind of very woebegone and sincere.” Some of her narrators, she thinks, are desperate to be understood. “That’s why they go into too much detail,” she said. “ ‘In case you didn’t quite get it, let me explain further.’ ”

When Davis was younger, the obsessions of her narrators tended to be amorous; now they are philosophical. “The Two Davises and the Rug,” in the new collection, is the story of two people named Davis, who “were not married to each other and they were not related by blood.” They are kindred nonetheless: “They were both indecisive people, or rather, they could be very decisive about some things, important things, or things to do with their work, but they could be very indecisive about smaller things, and change their minds from one day to the next, over and over again, being completely decided in favor of something one day and then completely decided against the same thing the next day.”

In the story, “this Davis” decides to sell a red-white-and-black wool rug at a yard sale to benefit a good cause. The rug has been lying in her son’s room, but her son doesn’t live at home anymore. At the yard sale, “the other Davis” considers buying it but doesn’t. By the time he has decided that he wants the rug, this Davis has decided to keep it. For the next twelve hundred words, this Davis worries extravagantly: should she, who had not really valued the rug until someone else desired it, keep it, or should she let the other Davis, whose house is “clean and tidy and thoughtfully arranged,” have it? Which one of them deserves it?

Davis did the same thing with a rug a few years ago, after Theo, her son with Cote, went away to college. “With that story, I’m not leaving out anything relevant,” she says. “But the obsessive quality is exaggerated. A lot is true, the ins and outs of reasoning, but a lot of normal life went on the same. In the story, you get the impression that the rug was the only thing happening. In real life, it’s just one strand. It’s, O.K., let’s see what happens if this rug and this dilemma becomes everything.”

For a contemplative, Davis is remarkably social. When Daniel was a baby, she joined a softball team; later, when Theo was young, she took a line-dancing class. She escapes herself, and the house, given half an opportunity—to collect stories for an oral history of the village, to sit on a town zoning board. “I don’t go into it thinking I need material,” she says. “I follow my interests pretty—I don’t like the word ‘intuitively.’ I follow them in a kind of natural way, without questioning them too much. Alan tries to be the brake on my impulses.”

Cote’s reservations have not stopped Davis from running for a seat on the governing board of her village. One snowy Saturday morning in late January, she had plans to go door to door collecting signatures with “the other Davis,” whose name is Bill, and who was running for reëlection. For her nominating petition, she needed signatures from five per cent of the previous election’s voters, which amounted to two or three people. (The village has a population of five hundred and seventy-one.) The mayor told her they didn’t really pay attention to Democrat or Republican, and suggested she make up her own affiliation, so she is running as a member of the Schoolhouse Party. “I’m interested to see on a small scale how people get along or don’t get along,” she said.

The temperature was ten degrees. Davis got a clipboard and a notebook and put on her winter coat. She was excited. “But they’re all people you know,” Cote said. When Bill Davis arrived, they drove half a mile down the road, to Helen and John Mullaly’s house. John, once a teacher at Davis and Cote’s schoolhouse, had recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday. Helen, a former head nurse, was in her late eighties. The Davises stayed for more than an hour, listening to their stories, in an overheated dining room crowded with clocks and photographs and figurines. Twice, John showed them a picture, cut from a newspaper, of Davos, Switzerland, where he had been during the Second World War. “Cleared the summit, met the Pope, pushed back the Germans,” he said. When Helen mentioned that the house had been owned by a doctor, who kept a log which she had found in the attic, Lydia’s eyes shone. The different clocks ticked out of time.

Later, Davis said, “I’m kind of always working, in a sense. Sitting and talking to my neighbors, I’m not really working, but I’m always sort of alert to things.” Two things had struck her particularly: the objects in the dining room, and Helen’s remark, as they left, that she loved driving in snowstorms the way some people love skiing—the opposite of a cliché about an old lady. (Davis, unexpectedly, plays tin whistle and Ping-Pong, and several years ago publicly sang scenes from “The Magic Flute” dressed as a witch, in a cast made up mostly of teen-agers.) “I’m not bored,” Davis said. “I don’t like the high-powered literary life. I’d rather sit and listen to Helen and John and their stories than be at a cocktail party in New York.”

On their rounds, the two Davises had stopped in at Bill’s place, a white clapboard house with a single dormer window. “See how clean and nice it is?” Lydia said, entering a dining room with an open fireplace and a Shaker rake on the wall. Susan Shapiro, Bill’s wife, was inside. Naturally, the rug came up for discussion. “Where would it have gone?” Lydia asked. “We had picked out a spot in Mark’s room,” Bill said. “Now I feel guilty!” she said. The rug was still upstairs in her house, in Theo’s rarely used bedroom.

Both Davises asked Shapiro for her signature. Shapiro looked at them wryly and said, “The Two Davises and the Village Board.”

Evasion is the shadow side of overwrought explanation: dwelling on minutiae can mask a problem of unspeakable magnitude. In “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” when Davis objects to the company’s use of the portmanteau word “cremains” in reference to her father—before his death, the company had called him her “loved one”—distress over vocabulary stands in for mortal rage. What is left out gives the shape to what remains. Fictionalizing real events, Davis says, has to do with the selection of material, in the way of a teen-ager recounting to her mother how an evening was spent: “We went over to Joan’s house and hung out and listened to music, and then we went to McDonald’s.” Not the part about the vodka in the orange juice, not the part about the making out. Not a lie, just a different story.

For the most part, Davis leaves her children out of it. They represent a grammar problem in “A Double Negative”: “At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.” In “Selfish,” which Davis calls “a tongue-in-cheek monologue about parenting that’s less painful,” her children, unnamed and featureless, are faint but pervasive, stubborn as ghosts. “The useful thing about being a selfish person is that when your children get hurt you don’t mind so much because you yourself are all right,” she writes. Difficulty arises from not being quite selfish enough:

If you are just a little selfish, you take some trouble over them, you pay some attention to them, they have clean clothes most of the time, a fresh haircut fairly often, though not all the supplies they need for school, or not when they need them; you enjoy them, you laugh at their jokes, though you have little patience when they are naughty, they annoy you when you have work to do, and when they are very naughty you become very angry; you understand some of what they should have, in their lives, you know some of what they are doing, with their friends, you ask questions, though not very many, and not beyond a certain point, because there is so little time; then the trouble begins and you don’t notice signs of it because you are so busy; they steal, and you wonder how that thing came into the house; they show you what they have stolen, and when you ask questions, they lie; when they lie, you believe them, every time, because they seem so candid and it would take so long to find out the truth.
Incomplete selfishness, like a vaccination that doesn’t take, cannot protect against suffering. The only foolproof approach is to be totally selfish, to the point of being “privately relieved, glad, even delighted, that it isn’t happening to you.” In an e-mail, Davis wrote to me, “The narrator takes a pose. Or I take a pose through a confident narrator—in the beginning. Then—as so often happens in actual conversation—once one begins discussing a situation in detail, reliving it, one’s emotions change, one’s relation to the material changes. And that’s what happens in the story. When the narrator goes into detail, about the stealing and the lying, then she loses some of that confidence. She ends up pushing the difficult material away, saying, Don’t let it get near me.”

That story, with its shifting sense of culpability, is the closest Davis comes to describing her struggles with Daniel. As a teen-ager, he started going to clubs in New York City and became deeply involved with drugs. In 1996, when he was eighteen, he was present in the apartment when a dealer named Andre Melendez was murdered by Michael Alig, a former club promoter, and his roommate, Robert Riggs. Auster was given three thousand dollars of Melendez’s money in exchange for his silence, and later pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and served a five-year probation. A decade ago, Hustvedt published a best-selling novel, “What I Loved,” which reimagines the events with all the obliquity of an episode of “Law & Order.” The story features a troubled boy whose mother, a poet, produces work that is “scrupulous, concise, and invested with the comedy inherent in distance.” Hustvedt describes the poet herself as “all boarded up and shut down like a condemned house.”

Lifting from life, Davis is cautious. She tends to ask her friends for permission before including them in stories. “I don’t really want to offend people, so I try to avoid it,” she said. “It’s a shock to see yourself depicted in someone’s writing, even if it’s not particularly negative. It’s a matter of being taken away and used.” Her mechanisms can be subtle, though—a change of gender, or of name, or less. Mitch Sisskind recalled being in a bookstore, leafing through a literary journal. “I started reading this story and saw that one of the characters was me, by name,” he said. “I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never known anyone else that did that. I was flattered, but I was surprised.” She had referred to him as Mitchell, which no one does, thinking that it would disguise his identity.

A few years ago, when Harper’s was preparing to publish “Varieties of Disturbance,” a story about Davis’s mother, who was then still alive, Davis asked Daniel’s advice. (He lives in Florida and works at a performance space.) He suggested a small cut to spare his grandmother’s feelings. When the piece was collected in a book of the same name (a finalist for the National Book Award), she had died, and Davis restored the damning phrase, also at his suggestion.

“Hurting children is where I would draw the line,” Davis told me one evening, sitting in the kitchen with Cote. “A husband—you can hurt a husband. He does have to O.K. everything.” She turned to Cote. “You veto. But of course it’s not really fair to him, because then he’s called on to be gentlemanly.”

“There’s certain private stuff I don’t think is relevant,” Cote said.

“You’ve put up with it.”

“I was generous.”

“He’d have to think it’s a good piece of writing,” she said. “But the children are off limits.”

In her twenties, in Paris, Davis got about two-thirds of the way through “Swann’s Way,” in French, carefully writing down vocabulary and making notes. For the next thirty years, she earned a living mostly through translating. In a talk on the subject, she described her body of work as “books of all degrees of excellence and non-excellence, of interest and no interest . . . including a sentimental biography of Marie Curie, various histories of Chinese politics, art catalogues, the strange novels of Pierre Jean Jouve, a volume of travel essays by Michel Butor, and several books of fiction and literary philosophy by Maurice Blanchot.”

In 1997, Davis agreed to translate “Swann’s Way” for a new edition of “In Search of Lost Time.” She had never read the version by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, whose enhanced Edwardian style may be the reason most readers in English flag after a volume or two, and she didn’t read it then. She started working through the French, page by page, not skipping ahead to see what came next. “Just the way I wouldn’t write anything, even an e-mail, if it wasn’t decently written, the translation has to be good right away,” she told me. “I write it quickly but well, so that some of the time I would feel like a sieve or funnel, or maybe ‘pipeline’ is a better word.”

When she finished her draft, she looked carefully at the previous translations, particularly Scott Moncrieff’s. “Proust is plainer in his language and more straightforward and in a way more contemporary than the translation,” she says. “My aim was to stay very close.” The response to what one critic called Davis’s “sans-serif version,” published in 2003, was reserved: some reviewers felt that her accuracy—which kept intact word order and punctuation, and often preferred an obscure cognate to a flashier English rendering—came at the expense of felicity. The Times, however, praised her “fine rigor and exactitude.”

The book’s success is as important to Davis as that of any of her fictions. “I’m more jealous, almost, of my translations,” she says. “I really want my Proust to take the place of the Scott Moncrieff, because I think it’s closer.”

Davis’s downstairs office has rose-pink floor-length curtains, a space heater, and a cat. Small shelves are filled with books—“Studies in Lowland Scots,” “Famous Dogs in Fiction”—relevant to “Bob, Son of Battle,” a children’s book, published in 1898, that she read as a child and is now “translating” from tricky Victorian English into language a present-day Brearley girl could manage. Her desk is two file cabinets with a board laid across the top. Above it, on a bulletin board, is a homemade family tree that traces her connections to an ancestor whose description of life in a nineteenth-century New England village she has fashioned into verse. A photocopied page from an old notebook serves as another kind of genealogy, some two hundred years’ worth of fiction writers, from Swift to Hemingway. “I found it and thought, Well, that’s worth looking at every now and again,” she said. “I don’t really have the picture in my head. I probably did it when I was quite young. I was always trying to learn and remember.”

It is not only the act of writing that forces Davis to write fiction; reading is a danger, too. “I don’t need to go to other writers to get excited,” she says. “The problem is almost the opposite. Certain kinds of writing will give me too many ideas. I have to keep stopping and reacting.” She recently got a collection of lectures Roland Barthes gave at the Sorbonne. “I found that there were so many interesting ideas in one paragraph that I almost couldn’t read it.”

E-mail can be equally threatening. In the office, Davis opened up her account to a folder of messages from the Listserv at Bard College, where she used to teach occasionally and where Cote was on the faculty for three decades. Material, practically ready-made. Here was a message from a woman named Lisa Hedges, wondering if anyone had seen her glasses. “I loved her name,” Davis said. “This is what it started as: ‘Round, faux tortoiseshell glasses, bifocal lenses, lost sometime Friday, between the Nursery School, B Village, A Sacred Space. It would be great if somebody has found them and they aren’t in a place covered in a foot of snow!’ ”

What it became:

Personal Announcement
Woman named Shrubbs
Has lost faux tortoiseshell eyeglasses

Where?
Somewhere between nursery school
and sacred space

They are possibly
covered by snow.
“This is very vestigial,” Davis said. “Or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.” Sometimes the longer something sits, the more finished it seems. A little while later, she said, “When you’re spying, when you’re looking, when you’re on the alert for a story, part of it is seeing the thing in isolation, apart from the normalizing context.”

Found objects emerge frequently as source and as finished work. (“An Example of the Continuing Past Tense in a Hotel Room”: “Your housekeeper has been Shelly.”) Davis sees this repurposing as thrift. She says, “My grandmother, my mother, and me—we were always making do and saving, very economical. I like the idea that the writing would belong to that practical tradition.”

Even now, much of Davis’s writing has its first life in obscure literary magazines. All the editors have to do is ask. If she likes the cover letter, and feels she can trust them, she’ll send work. In small magazines she feels free to experiment. “There’s an opposition between what’s good for my career and what’s good for my writing,” she said, walking back into the kitchen, where Cote was waiting for his lunch. “What’s good for my writing is these little places.”

“You’re building your fan base,” Cote said.

“I don’t think I’d ever think of it as ‘building my fan base.’ I would never sit back and do that intentionally.”

“Then they go on YouTube and start talking about it,” Cote said.

“I really like being read by young people,” Davis said. “I love it that friends of my son Theo, who is twenty-five, will say, ‘Is your mother Lydia Davis? I love her work. ’ ”

In 2001, Davis published a book with McSweeney’s, after Dave Eggers wrote her a fan letter. New, young readers found in her work an idiosyncratic approach to the problem of storytelling, something handmade or unmade, each story like a cool thing from an old junk shop. The title piece—“Samuel Johnson Is Indignant:”—was one line long: “that Scotland has so few trees.” (Humor, language, emotion.) “That’s such a radical act and so liberating to put that on a page and call it finished,” Eggers told me. “For those of us who are attracted to people who make room for new ways of defining a short story or who defy categorization at all, she was a real hero.”

By the time FSG published her “Collected,” in 2009, American fiction had more fully accommodated itself to the insubstantial. Everything is too hard to understand until it isn’t. For the first time, Davis’s writing was acknowledged as belonging to an American tradition. Jonathan Galassi, the president and publisher of FSG, says, “People caught up with her.”

“I have to guard against the tendency—I could make anything into a story,” Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to her literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. “I was trying just to write instructions, you know, ‘My notebooks should go here,’ ‘You should look through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,’ ” she said. “But it began to get too elaborate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn’t a straightforward document any more. I didn’t really want it to be a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor.” She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. ♦

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an abstract painter, in a tiny village in Rensselaer County, New York. Cote is large, warm, taciturn, and wears a mustache. Their house is a converted elementary school, built in 1930 by the W.P.A.: neo-Georgian, brick, with Boston ivy and fifteen-foot ceilings. He paints in the gymnasium; the bathtub is in the teachers’ lounge. On the fence outside, a sign made from found sticks spells “L’Ecole.”

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. “I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle,” she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month’s selection for her book club—local women, wine, family talk—was full of mixed metaphors. “I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake,” she said. “A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something’s wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is.” She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. “Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor,” she said. She read another: “ ‘A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.’ I thought about that. You’d think he could get away with it, but he can’t, because ‘stuffed’ is a verb that comes from material. It’s soft, so it’s a problem to stuff it with something hard.” There were sentences about camouflaging with a veneer, and girding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. “Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison,” she said.

But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author’s photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. “I just write down one sentence,” she said. “This would be me assuming a kind of yenta voice: ‘Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.’ ” She smiled. “It’s me feeling a little sorry that I’m writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so friendly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don’t look so innocent.”

In the summer of 1973, when Davis was twenty-six, she and her boyfriend Paul Auster went to live in the South of France, as caretakers of an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse with a red tile roof and an enclosed garden. They had been in Paris for two years already, translating French novels and poems and art catalogues and film scripts—sometimes the pay amounted to five dollars a page—and working assiduously on their own writing.

At Barnard, where Davis went to college, she had been a distracted student, occasionally accompanying Auster to his classes at Columbia rather than attending her own. (They met in the spring of their freshman year.) They played touch football and one-on-one basketball. Davis had long honey-colored hair and a dreamy affect. “She had pheromones, and men and boys followed her around panting,” an old friend said.

Auster was sunken-eyed and soulful, with a cocked eyebrow, or, as he puts it, “a dark-haired Jewish boy from New Jersey with a public-school education.” Davis had gone to Brearley, and then to Putney, a boarding school with farm work, in Vermont. Her father, Robert Gorham Davis, taught English at Columbia—modern short stories—and her mother, Hope Hale Davis, wrote fiction for women’s magazines and occasionally for The New Yorker. First they were Communists, then liberals (he was questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities); always they were avid party-givers. Lionel Trilling came to the apartment, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Edward Said. In memoirs, Auster portrays himself as helplessly impressed by Davis, loving more than he was loved. He writes, “For the most part you were the pursuer, and she alternated between resisting your advances and wanting to be caught.” Among their friends—“arcane, avant-garde intellectuals,” Mitch Sisskind, who was one of them, said—Davis was the eccentric. “We were all reading Kafka,” he told me. “She read Kafka, too—and you can see the influence—but she also read ‘The Making of a Surgeon.’ ”

In the country, Auster wrote poems; Davis struggled to write traditional short stories, of the kind her parents admired. (Later, they would say, Why don’t you write about your travels or something more cheerful?) She copied out lines of Beckett to understand how the sentences functioned, and tacked them to the wall. The stories, however, were too masterly to imitate. She read mysteries, weighed herself, threw pebbles in an urn. She tried to make herself stay at her desk till lunch. Auster, on the other hand, could easily work all day.

At the end of August, Davis happened to read a strange little book of very short stories by the poet Russell Edson. Here was a contemporary, an American, whose stories, unlike those of her literary heroes, sometimes failed. Within days, she had started writing strange little stories of her own. She set a goal, two per day. “I didn’t think too hard about what I was going to do,” she told me. “I just snatched an idea from the air, I just went with it, and I didn’t think about what the meaning was of the story, and I still don’t like to do that.” She started to enjoy herself. A month after reading Edson, she wrote “The Thirteenth Woman,” a hundred-and-thirty-eight-word story in two sentences, which she sees as “the first seminal story.” The same day, she wrote “The Transformation,” a page-long fable about a woman who turns into a stone. She worked in a plain cardboard notebook, with a studied hand. “Must conquer this afternoon malaise,” one late-September entry starts, followed by six stories. “She would get an idea, three or four sentences or a paragraph, and she would write it clean off the top of her head and that would be it,” Auster told me. “The stuff she labored over never turned out as successfully.”

Anything Davis wrote might turn, unbidden, into fiction. In her notebook, she composed a letter to her friend Jack LeVert (part of their Kafka-reading, touch-football-playing crowd), who was planning to visit them at the farmhouse:

If you were to look in on us, you would be amazed at the elegance in which we live. You would see us sweep into the driveway in a pale green station wagon, casually pat our thoroughbreds as we entered our restored, pre-revolutionary home with its thick beams and red tiled floors. . . . You would see us during the day with dreamy looks in our eyes writing poetry and little dibs and dabs of nothing, as though we had been born to idleness. Perhaps I would invite you to go sketching and we would take the folding chairs and our pads of sketch paper. Perhaps later we would listen to an opera from where we lounged beside the bright medieval fireplace, our Labradors sleeping at our feet on their deerskin rug. But as dinnertime approached you would notice that we grew nervous. At first it would be hardly perceptible, the smallest haunted look in our eyes, a dark shadow on our faces. You would intercept embarrassed glances. I would blush suddenly and turn pale and when dinner arrived, though the pottery were of the finest quality, hand turned, and the mats from Japan and the napkins from India, the beans would stick in your throat, the carrots would break the tines of your fork and you would recognize the taste of cat. How much more painful is poverty for the caretakers.

“The new piece of paper you like to keep on your desk came in.”
BUY OR LICENSE »
The hardship was romantic, self-imposed. “We both came from families that had enough money to rescue us,” Davis said. “This was all our own choice, really. It was for our so-called art.” When they finally ran out of money, they returned to New York, nine dollars between them. Davis’s father helped get them an apartment on Riverside Drive, and they were married there in the fall of 1974. (Auster, in “Winter Journal,” a memoir: “Given the frequent changes of heart that had afflicted the two of you from the beginning, the constant comings and goings, the affairs with other people, the breakups and makeups that followed one another as regularly as the changing of the seasons, the thought that either one of you should have considered marriage at this point now strikes you as an act of delusional folly.” Davis: “I read about some town in Northern California, where the pastor at the church—or is it the law?—said you’re not allowed to get married without three or four visits to the pastoral counselor ahead of time to discuss your expectations or habits or needs. It’s worked out very well. People don’t get divorced.”) Davis briefly studied to become a speech therapist. Instead, she and Auster moved to Berkeley and published a collection of her pieces, “The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories,” in an edition of five hundred. The poets in their circle loved it.

The following year, expecting a child, they bought an old house in Dutchess County—a cursed house, according to Auster, who found “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a box on the back porch and a dried-up crow, like an omen, behind a chest of drawers. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1977, and when he was eighteen months old they separated. Auster moved back to the city, and, after they divorced, married the novelist Siri Hustvedt. Eventually, Davis moved back, too, and lived a few blocks from them in Brooklyn to make it easier for Daniel to go back and forth. Davis worked as a typesetter at a small Brooklyn newspaper; the checks the paper wrote her bounced.

The question of what constitutes a story is troublesome. E. M. Forster wrote, “ ‘The king died and then the queen died’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.” Davis’s stories have very little in the way of plot; sometimes people get indignant and ask her why she doesn’t call them poems or fragments. (She prefers the deeper associations of the word “story.”) Like thoughts, her pieces are reiterative; she sooner makes chronology a subject than a formal device. She says her work arises from a conjunction of humor, language, and emotional difficulty. Sometimes that means high culture, low culture, and animals; that is, a contradiction, plus the life force. Usually, she sets out to answer a single question and tries to stop between incomprehensibility (too little detail) and boredom (too much). Her longer pieces slacken and drift, but at fifteen hundred words the line is taut. As one of her narrators says, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long.” Even poets find her concentration bracing. Matthew Zapruder, a poet and editor who keeps Davis’s “Collected Stories” on his shelf and turns to it whenever he needs a jolt, says, “It almost feels like a challenge to poetry. She can do this, why can’t we?”

“By fiction now I just mean a construct that’s a little different from reality,” Davis told me. “One aspect of that is a narrative voice that’s a little artificial, not quite my own.” As a person, Davis is tactful if particular; the speakers of her stories tend to be grand and hysterical, flies in bottles, frustrated by obstacles they can’t see. The woman who goes over and over a sequence of events, trying to establish whether her lover is being unfaithful; the man who calculates the cost per hour of a ten-day affair. (Those two examples come from “Break It Down,” her first full-length book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1986. That author photo—her frank gaze—gave rise to at least one come-on letter.) “The narrators are overthinking, and the overthinking tends to be funny, but the overthinking tends to be rooted in strong feeling,” Lorin Stein, who worked with her on two later books at FSG and is now the editor of The Paris Review, says. “You have the sense of characters who have a strong motivation to do something absurd and unproductive.”

“I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators,” Davis said. “I’ll see a kind of mousy, earnest person at a reading, a woman with limp, long, dark hair, kind of very woebegone and sincere.” Some of her narrators, she thinks, are desperate to be understood. “That’s why they go into too much detail,” she said. “ ‘In case you didn’t quite get it, let me explain further.’ ”

When Davis was younger, the obsessions of her narrators tended to be amorous; now they are philosophical. “The Two Davises and the Rug,” in the new collection, is the story of two people named Davis, who “were not married to each other and they were not related by blood.” They are kindred nonetheless: “They were both indecisive people, or rather, they could be very decisive about some things, important things, or things to do with their work, but they could be very indecisive about smaller things, and change their minds from one day to the next, over and over again, being completely decided in favor of something one day and then completely decided against the same thing the next day.”

In the story, “this Davis” decides to sell a red-white-and-black wool rug at a yard sale to benefit a good cause. The rug has been lying in her son’s room, but her son doesn’t live at home anymore. At the yard sale, “the other Davis” considers buying it but doesn’t. By the time he has decided that he wants the rug, this Davis has decided to keep it. For the next twelve hundred words, this Davis worries extravagantly: should she, who had not really valued the rug until someone else desired it, keep it, or should she let the other Davis, whose house is “clean and tidy and thoughtfully arranged,” have it? Which one of them deserves it?

Davis did the same thing with a rug a few years ago, after Theo, her son with Cote, went away to college. “With that story, I’m not leaving out anything relevant,” she says. “But the obsessive quality is exaggerated. A lot is true, the ins and outs of reasoning, but a lot of normal life went on the same. In the story, you get the impression that the rug was the only thing happening. In real life, it’s just one strand. It’s, O.K., let’s see what happens if this rug and this dilemma becomes everything.”

For a contemplative, Davis is remarkably social. When Daniel was a baby, she joined a softball team; later, when Theo was young, she took a line-dancing class. She escapes herself, and the house, given half an opportunity—to collect stories for an oral history of the village, to sit on a town zoning board. “I don’t go into it thinking I need material,” she says. “I follow my interests pretty—I don’t like the word ‘intuitively.’ I follow them in a kind of natural way, without questioning them too much. Alan tries to be the brake on my impulses.”

Cote’s reservations have not stopped Davis from running for a seat on the governing board of her village. One snowy Saturday morning in late January, she had plans to go door to door collecting signatures with “the other Davis,” whose name is Bill, and who was running for reëlection. For her nominating petition, she needed signatures from five per cent of the previous election’s voters, which amounted to two or three people. (The village has a population of five hundred and seventy-one.) The mayor told her they didn’t really pay attention to Democrat or Republican, and suggested she make up her own affiliation, so she is running as a member of the Schoolhouse Party. “I’m interested to see on a small scale how people get along or don’t get along,” she said.

The temperature was ten degrees. Davis got a clipboard and a notebook and put on her winter coat. She was excited. “But they’re all people you know,” Cote said. When Bill Davis arrived, they drove half a mile down the road, to Helen and John Mullaly’s house. John, once a teacher at Davis and Cote’s schoolhouse, had recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday. Helen, a former head nurse, was in her late eighties. The Davises stayed for more than an hour, listening to their stories, in an overheated dining room crowded with clocks and photographs and figurines. Twice, John showed them a picture, cut from a newspaper, of Davos, Switzerland, where he had been during the Second World War. “Cleared the summit, met the Pope, pushed back the Germans,” he said. When Helen mentioned that the house had been owned by a doctor, who kept a log which she had found in the attic, Lydia’s eyes shone. The different clocks ticked out of time.

Later, Davis said, “I’m kind of always working, in a sense. Sitting and talking to my neighbors, I’m not really working, but I’m always sort of alert to things.” Two things had struck her particularly: the objects in the dining room, and Helen’s remark, as they left, that she loved driving in snowstorms the way some people love skiing—the opposite of a cliché about an old lady. (Davis, unexpectedly, plays tin whistle and Ping-Pong, and several years ago publicly sang scenes from “The Magic Flute” dressed as a witch, in a cast made up mostly of teen-agers.) “I’m not bored,” Davis said. “I don’t like the high-powered literary life. I’d rather sit and listen to Helen and John and their stories than be at a cocktail party in New York.”

On their rounds, the two Davises had stopped in at Bill’s place, a white clapboard house with a single dormer window. “See how clean and nice it is?” Lydia said, entering a dining room with an open fireplace and a Shaker rake on the wall. Susan Shapiro, Bill’s wife, was inside. Naturally, the rug came up for discussion. “Where would it have gone?” Lydia asked. “We had picked out a spot in Mark’s room,” Bill said. “Now I feel guilty!” she said. The rug was still upstairs in her house, in Theo’s rarely used bedroom.

Both Davises asked Shapiro for her signature. Shapiro looked at them wryly and said, “The Two Davises and the Village Board.”

Evasion is the shadow side of overwrought explanation: dwelling on minutiae can mask a problem of unspeakable magnitude. In “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” when Davis objects to the company’s use of the portmanteau word “cremains” in reference to her father—before his death, the company had called him her “loved one”—distress over vocabulary stands in for mortal rage. What is left out gives the shape to what remains. Fictionalizing real events, Davis says, has to do with the selection of material, in the way of a teen-ager recounting to her mother how an evening was spent: “We went over to Joan’s house and hung out and listened to music, and then we went to McDonald’s.” Not the part about the vodka in the orange juice, not the part about the making out. Not a lie, just a different story.

For the most part, Davis leaves her children out of it. They represent a grammar problem in “A Double Negative”: “At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.” In “Selfish,” which Davis calls “a tongue-in-cheek monologue about parenting that’s less painful,” her children, unnamed and featureless, are faint but pervasive, stubborn as ghosts. “The useful thing about being a selfish person is that when your children get hurt you don’t mind so much because you yourself are all right,” she writes. Difficulty arises from not being quite selfish enough:

If you are just a little selfish, you take some trouble over them, you pay some attention to them, they have clean clothes most of the time, a fresh haircut fairly often, though not all the supplies they need for school, or not when they need them; you enjoy them, you laugh at their jokes, though you have little patience when they are naughty, they annoy you when you have work to do, and when they are very naughty you become very angry; you understand some of what they should have, in their lives, you know some of what they are doing, with their friends, you ask questions, though not very many, and not beyond a certain point, because there is so little time; then the trouble begins and you don’t notice signs of it because you are so busy; they steal, and you wonder how that thing came into the house; they show you what they have stolen, and when you ask questions, they lie; when they lie, you believe them, every time, because they seem so candid and it would take so long to find out the truth.
Incomplete selfishness, like a vaccination that doesn’t take, cannot protect against suffering. The only foolproof approach is to be totally selfish, to the point of being “privately relieved, glad, even delighted, that it isn’t happening to you.” In an e-mail, Davis wrote to me, “The narrator takes a pose. Or I take a pose through a confident narrator—in the beginning. Then—as so often happens in actual conversation—once one begins discussing a situation in detail, reliving it, one’s emotions change, one’s relation to the material changes. And that’s what happens in the story. When the narrator goes into detail, about the stealing and the lying, then she loses some of that confidence. She ends up pushing the difficult material away, saying, Don’t let it get near me.”

That story, with its shifting sense of culpability, is the closest Davis comes to describing her struggles with Daniel. As a teen-ager, he started going to clubs in New York City and became deeply involved with drugs. In 1996, when he was eighteen, he was present in the apartment when a dealer named Andre Melendez was murdered by Michael Alig, a former club promoter, and his roommate, Robert Riggs. Auster was given three thousand dollars of Melendez’s money in exchange for his silence, and later pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and served a five-year probation. A decade ago, Hustvedt published a best-selling novel, “What I Loved,” which reimagines the events with all the obliquity of an episode of “Law & Order.” The story features a troubled boy whose mother, a poet, produces work that is “scrupulous, concise, and invested with the comedy inherent in distance.” Hustvedt describes the poet herself as “all boarded up and shut down like a condemned house.”

Lifting from life, Davis is cautious. She tends to ask her friends for permission before including them in stories. “I don’t really want to offend people, so I try to avoid it,” she said. “It’s a shock to see yourself depicted in someone’s writing, even if it’s not particularly negative. It’s a matter of being taken away and used.” Her mechanisms can be subtle, though—a change of gender, or of name, or less. Mitch Sisskind recalled being in a bookstore, leafing through a literary journal. “I started reading this story and saw that one of the characters was me, by name,” he said. “I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never known anyone else that did that. I was flattered, but I was surprised.” She had referred to him as Mitchell, which no one does, thinking that it would disguise his identity.

A few years ago, when Harper’s was preparing to publish “Varieties of Disturbance,” a story about Davis’s mother, who was then still alive, Davis asked Daniel’s advice. (He lives in Florida and works at a performance space.) He suggested a small cut to spare his grandmother’s feelings. When the piece was collected in a book of the same name (a finalist for the National Book Award), she had died, and Davis restored the damning phrase, also at his suggestion.

“Hurting children is where I would draw the line,” Davis told me one evening, sitting in the kitchen with Cote. “A husband—you can hurt a husband. He does have to O.K. everything.” She turned to Cote. “You veto. But of course it’s not really fair to him, because then he’s called on to be gentlemanly.”

“There’s certain private stuff I don’t think is relevant,” Cote said.

“You’ve put up with it.”

“I was generous.”

“He’d have to think it’s a good piece of writing,” she said. “But the children are off limits.”

In her twenties, in Paris, Davis got about two-thirds of the way through “Swann’s Way,” in French, carefully writing down vocabulary and making notes. For the next thirty years, she earned a living mostly through translating. In a talk on the subject, she described her body of work as “books of all degrees of excellence and non-excellence, of interest and no interest . . . including a sentimental biography of Marie Curie, various histories of Chinese politics, art catalogues, the strange novels of Pierre Jean Jouve, a volume of travel essays by Michel Butor, and several books of fiction and literary philosophy by Maurice Blanchot.”

In 1997, Davis agreed to translate “Swann’s Way” for a new edition of “In Search of Lost Time.” She had never read the version by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, whose enhanced Edwardian style may be the reason most readers in English flag after a volume or two, and she didn’t read it then. She started working through the French, page by page, not skipping ahead to see what came next. “Just the way I wouldn’t write anything, even an e-mail, if it wasn’t decently written, the translation has to be good right away,” she told me. “I write it quickly but well, so that some of the time I would feel like a sieve or funnel, or maybe ‘pipeline’ is a better word.”

When she finished her draft, she looked carefully at the previous translations, particularly Scott Moncrieff’s. “Proust is plainer in his language and more straightforward and in a way more contemporary than the translation,” she says. “My aim was to stay very close.” The response to what one critic called Davis’s “sans-serif version,” published in 2003, was reserved: some reviewers felt that her accuracy—which kept intact word order and punctuation, and often preferred an obscure cognate to a flashier English rendering—came at the expense of felicity. The Times, however, praised her “fine rigor and exactitude.”

The book’s success is as important to Davis as that of any of her fictions. “I’m more jealous, almost, of my translations,” she says. “I really want my Proust to take the place of the Scott Moncrieff, because I think it’s closer.”

Davis’s downstairs office has rose-pink floor-length curtains, a space heater, and a cat. Small shelves are filled with books—“Studies in Lowland Scots,” “Famous Dogs in Fiction”—relevant to “Bob, Son of Battle,” a children’s book, published in 1898, that she read as a child and is now “translating” from tricky Victorian English into language a present-day Brearley girl could manage. Her desk is two file cabinets with a board laid across the top. Above it, on a bulletin board, is a homemade family tree that traces her connections to an ancestor whose description of life in a nineteenth-century New England village she has fashioned into verse. A photocopied page from an old notebook serves as another kind of genealogy, some two hundred years’ worth of fiction writers, from Swift to Hemingway. “I found it and thought, Well, that’s worth looking at every now and again,” she said. “I don’t really have the picture in my head. I probably did it when I was quite young. I was always trying to learn and remember.”

It is not only the act of writing that forces Davis to write fiction; reading is a danger, too. “I don’t need to go to other writers to get excited,” she says. “The problem is almost the opposite. Certain kinds of writing will give me too many ideas. I have to keep stopping and reacting.” She recently got a collection of lectures Roland Barthes gave at the Sorbonne. “I found that there were so many interesting ideas in one paragraph that I almost couldn’t read it.”

E-mail can be equally threatening. In the office, Davis opened up her account to a folder of messages from the Listserv at Bard College, where she used to teach occasionally and where Cote was on the faculty for three decades. Material, practically ready-made. Here was a message from a woman named Lisa Hedges, wondering if anyone had seen her glasses. “I loved her name,” Davis said. “This is what it started as: ‘Round, faux tortoiseshell glasses, bifocal lenses, lost sometime Friday, between the Nursery School, B Village, A Sacred Space. It would be great if somebody has found them and they aren’t in a place covered in a foot of snow!’ ”

What it became:

Personal Announcement
Woman named Shrubbs
Has lost faux tortoiseshell eyeglasses

Where?
Somewhere between nursery school
and sacred space

They are possibly
covered by snow.
“This is very vestigial,” Davis said. “Or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.” Sometimes the longer something sits, the more finished it seems. A little while later, she said, “When you’re spying, when you’re looking, when you’re on the alert for a story, part of it is seeing the thing in isolation, apart from the normalizing context.”

Found objects emerge frequently as source and as finished work. (“An Example of the Continuing Past Tense in a Hotel Room”: “Your housekeeper has been Shelly.”) Davis sees this repurposing as thrift. She says, “My grandmother, my mother, and me—we were always making do and saving, very economical. I like the idea that the writing would belong to that practical tradition.”

Even now, much of Davis’s writing has its first life in obscure literary magazines. All the editors have to do is ask. If she likes the cover letter, and feels she can trust them, she’ll send work. In small magazines she feels free to experiment. “There’s an opposition between what’s good for my career and what’s good for my writing,” she said, walking back into the kitchen, where Cote was waiting for his lunch. “What’s good for my writing is these little places.”

“You’re building your fan base,” Cote said.

“I don’t think I’d ever think of it as ‘building my fan base.’ I would never sit back and do that intentionally.”

“Then they go on YouTube and start talking about it,” Cote said.

“I really like being read by young people,” Davis said. “I love it that friends of my son Theo, who is twenty-five, will say, ‘Is your mother Lydia Davis? I love her work. ’ ”

In 2001, Davis published a book with McSweeney’s, after Dave Eggers wrote her a fan letter. New, young readers found in her work an idiosyncratic approach to the problem of storytelling, something handmade or unmade, each story like a cool thing from an old junk shop. The title piece—“Samuel Johnson Is Indignant:”—was one line long: “that Scotland has so few trees.” (Humor, language, emotion.) “That’s such a radical act and so liberating to put that on a page and call it finished,” Eggers told me. “For those of us who are attracted to people who make room for new ways of defining a short story or who defy categorization at all, she was a real hero.”

By the time FSG published her “Collected,” in 2009, American fiction had more fully accommodated itself to the insubstantial. Everything is too hard to understand until it isn’t. For the first time, Davis’s writing was acknowledged as belonging to an American tradition. Jonathan Galassi, the president and publisher of FSG, says, “People caught up with her.”

“I have to guard against the tendency—I could make anything into a story,” Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to her literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. “I was trying just to write instructions, you know, ‘My notebooks should go here,’ ‘You should look through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,’ ” she said. “But it began to get too elaborate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn’t a straightforward document any more. I didn’t really want it to be a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor.” She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. ♦

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an abstract painter, in a tiny village in Rensselaer County, New York. Cote is large, warm, taciturn, and wears a mustache. Their house is a converted elementary school, built in 1930 by the W.P.A.: neo-Georgian, brick, with Boston ivy and fifteen-foot ceilings. He paints in the gymnasium; the bathtub is in the teachers’ lounge. On the fence outside, a sign made from found sticks spells “L’Ecole.”

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. “I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle,” she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month’s selection for her book club—local women, wine, family talk—was full of mixed metaphors. “I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake,” she said. “A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something’s wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is.” She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. “Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor,” she said. She read another: “ ‘A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.’ I thought about that. You’d think he could get away with it, but he can’t, because ‘stuffed’ is a verb that comes from material. It’s soft, so it’s a problem to stuff it with something hard.” There were sentences about camouflaging with a veneer, and girding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. “Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison,” she said.

But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author’s photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. “I just write down one sentence,” she said. “This would be me assuming a kind of yenta voice: ‘Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.’ ” She smiled. “It’s me feeling a little sorry that I’m writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so friendly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don’t look so innocent.”

In the summer of 1973, when Davis was twenty-six, she and her boyfriend Paul Auster went to live in the South of France, as caretakers of an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse with a red tile roof and an enclosed garden. They had been in Paris for two years already, translating French novels and poems and art catalogues and film scripts—sometimes the pay amounted to five dollars a page—and working assiduously on their own writing.

At Barnard, where Davis went to college, she had been a distracted student, occasionally accompanying Auster to his classes at Columbia rather than attending her own. (They met in the spring of their freshman year.) They played touch football and one-on-one basketball. Davis had long honey-colored hair and a dreamy affect. “She had pheromones, and men and boys followed her around panting,” an old friend said.

Auster was sunken-eyed and soulful, with a cocked eyebrow, or, as he puts it, “a dark-haired Jewish boy from New Jersey with a public-school education.” Davis had gone to Brearley, and then to Putney, a boarding school with farm work, in Vermont. Her father, Robert Gorham Davis, taught English at Columbia—modern short stories—and her mother, Hope Hale Davis, wrote fiction for women’s magazines and occasionally for The New Yorker. First they were Communists, then liberals (he was questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities); always they were avid party-givers. Lionel Trilling came to the apartment, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Edward Said. In memoirs, Auster portrays himself as helplessly impressed by Davis, loving more than he was loved. He writes, “For the most part you were the pursuer, and she alternated between resisting your advances and wanting to be caught.” Among their friends—“arcane, avant-garde intellectuals,” Mitch Sisskind, who was one of them, said—Davis was the eccentric. “We were all reading Kafka,” he told me. “She read Kafka, too—and you can see the influence—but she also read ‘The Making of a Surgeon.’ ”

In the country, Auster wrote poems; Davis struggled to write traditional short stories, of the kind her parents admired. (Later, they would say, Why don’t you write about your travels or something more cheerful?) She copied out lines of Beckett to understand how the sentences functioned, and tacked them to the wall. The stories, however, were too masterly to imitate. She read mysteries, weighed herself, threw pebbles in an urn. She tried to make herself stay at her desk till lunch. Auster, on the other hand, could easily work all day.

At the end of August, Davis happened to read a strange little book of very short stories by the poet Russell Edson. Here was a contemporary, an American, whose stories, unlike those of her literary heroes, sometimes failed. Within days, she had started writing strange little stories of her own. She set a goal, two per day. “I didn’t think too hard about what I was going to do,” she told me. “I just snatched an idea from the air, I just went with it, and I didn’t think about what the meaning was of the story, and I still don’t like to do that.” She started to enjoy herself. A month after reading Edson, she wrote “The Thirteenth Woman,” a hundred-and-thirty-eight-word story in two sentences, which she sees as “the first seminal story.” The same day, she wrote “The Transformation,” a page-long fable about a woman who turns into a stone. She worked in a plain cardboard notebook, with a studied hand. “Must conquer this afternoon malaise,” one late-September entry starts, followed by six stories. “She would get an idea, three or four sentences or a paragraph, and she would write it clean off the top of her head and that would be it,” Auster told me. “The stuff she labored over never turned out as successfully.”

Anything Davis wrote might turn, unbidden, into fiction. In her notebook, she composed a letter to her friend Jack LeVert (part of their Kafka-reading, touch-football-playing crowd), who was planning to visit them at the farmhouse:

If you were to look in on us, you would be amazed at the elegance in which we live. You would see us sweep into the driveway in a pale green station wagon, casually pat our thoroughbreds as we entered our restored, pre-revolutionary home with its thick beams and red tiled floors. . . . You would see us during the day with dreamy looks in our eyes writing poetry and little dibs and dabs of nothing, as though we had been born to idleness. Perhaps I would invite you to go sketching and we would take the folding chairs and our pads of sketch paper. Perhaps later we would listen to an opera from where we lounged beside the bright medieval fireplace, our Labradors sleeping at our feet on their deerskin rug. But as dinnertime approached you would notice that we grew nervous. At first it would be hardly perceptible, the smallest haunted look in our eyes, a dark shadow on our faces. You would intercept embarrassed glances. I would blush suddenly and turn pale and when dinner arrived, though the pottery were of the finest quality, hand turned, and the mats from Japan and the napkins from India, the beans would stick in your throat, the carrots would break the tines of your fork and you would recognize the taste of cat. How much more painful is poverty for the caretakers.

“The new piece of paper you like to keep on your desk came in.”
BUY OR LICENSE »
The hardship was romantic, self-imposed. “We both came from families that had enough money to rescue us,” Davis said. “This was all our own choice, really. It was for our so-called art.” When they finally ran out of money, they returned to New York, nine dollars between them. Davis’s father helped get them an apartment on Riverside Drive, and they were married there in the fall of 1974. (Auster, in “Winter Journal,” a memoir: “Given the frequent changes of heart that had afflicted the two of you from the beginning, the constant comings and goings, the affairs with other people, the breakups and makeups that followed one another as regularly as the changing of the seasons, the thought that either one of you should have considered marriage at this point now strikes you as an act of delusional folly.” Davis: “I read about some town in Northern California, where the pastor at the church—or is it the law?—said you’re not allowed to get married without three or four visits to the pastoral counselor ahead of time to discuss your expectations or habits or needs. It’s worked out very well. People don’t get divorced.”) Davis briefly studied to become a speech therapist. Instead, she and Auster moved to Berkeley and published a collection of her pieces, “The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories,” in an edition of five hundred. The poets in their circle loved it.

The following year, expecting a child, they bought an old house in Dutchess County—a cursed house, according to Auster, who found “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a box on the back porch and a dried-up crow, like an omen, behind a chest of drawers. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1977, and when he was eighteen months old they separated. Auster moved back to the city, and, after they divorced, married the novelist Siri Hustvedt. Eventually, Davis moved back, too, and lived a few blocks from them in Brooklyn to make it easier for Daniel to go back and forth. Davis worked as a typesetter at a small Brooklyn newspaper; the checks the paper wrote her bounced.

The question of what constitutes a story is troublesome. E. M. Forster wrote, “ ‘The king died and then the queen died’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.” Davis’s stories have very little in the way of plot; sometimes people get indignant and ask her why she doesn’t call them poems or fragments. (She prefers the deeper associations of the word “story.”) Like thoughts, her pieces are reiterative; she sooner makes chronology a subject than a formal device. She says her work arises from a conjunction of humor, language, and emotional difficulty. Sometimes that means high culture, low culture, and animals; that is, a contradiction, plus the life force. Usually, she sets out to answer a single question and tries to stop between incomprehensibility (too little detail) and boredom (too much). Her longer pieces slacken and drift, but at fifteen hundred words the line is taut. As one of her narrators says, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long.” Even poets find her concentration bracing. Matthew Zapruder, a poet and editor who keeps Davis’s “Collected Stories” on his shelf and turns to it whenever he needs a jolt, says, “It almost feels like a challenge to poetry. She can do this, why can’t we?”

“By fiction now I just mean a construct that’s a little different from reality,” Davis told me. “One aspect of that is a narrative voice that’s a little artificial, not quite my own.” As a person, Davis is tactful if particular; the speakers of her stories tend to be grand and hysterical, flies in bottles, frustrated by obstacles they can’t see. The woman who goes over and over a sequence of events, trying to establish whether her lover is being unfaithful; the man who calculates the cost per hour of a ten-day affair. (Those two examples come from “Break It Down,” her first full-length book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1986. That author photo—her frank gaze—gave rise to at least one come-on letter.) “The narrators are overthinking, and the overthinking tends to be funny, but the overthinking tends to be rooted in strong feeling,” Lorin Stein, who worked with her on two later books at FSG and is now the editor of The Paris Review, says. “You have the sense of characters who have a strong motivation to do something absurd and unproductive.”

“I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators,” Davis said. “I’ll see a kind of mousy, earnest person at a reading, a woman with limp, long, dark hair, kind of very woebegone and sincere.” Some of her narrators, she thinks, are desperate to be understood. “That’s why they go into too much detail,” she said. “ ‘In case you didn’t quite get it, let me explain further.’ ”

When Davis was younger, the obsessions of her narrators tended to be amorous; now they are philosophical. “The Two Davises and the Rug,” in the new collection, is the story of two people named Davis, who “were not married to each other and they were not related by blood.” They are kindred nonetheless: “They were both indecisive people, or rather, they could be very decisive about some things, important things, or things to do with their work, but they could be very indecisive about smaller things, and change their minds from one day to the next, over and over again, being completely decided in favor of something one day and then completely decided against the same thing the next day.”

In the story, “this Davis” decides to sell a red-white-and-black wool rug at a yard sale to benefit a good cause. The rug has been lying in her son’s room, but her son doesn’t live at home anymore. At the yard sale, “the other Davis” considers buying it but doesn’t. By the time he has decided that he wants the rug, this Davis has decided to keep it. For the next twelve hundred words, this Davis worries extravagantly: should she, who had not really valued the rug until someone else desired it, keep it, or should she let the other Davis, whose house is “clean and tidy and thoughtfully arranged,” have it? Which one of them deserves it?

Davis did the same thing with a rug a few years ago, after Theo, her son with Cote, went away to college. “With that story, I’m not leaving out anything relevant,” she says. “But the obsessive quality is exaggerated. A lot is true, the ins and outs of reasoning, but a lot of normal life went on the same. In the story, you get the impression that the rug was the only thing happening. In real life, it’s just one strand. It’s, O.K., let’s see what happens if this rug and this dilemma becomes everything.”

For a contemplative, Davis is remarkably social. When Daniel was a baby, she joined a softball team; later, when Theo was young, she took a line-dancing class. She escapes herself, and the house, given half an opportunity—to collect stories for an oral history of the village, to sit on a town zoning board. “I don’t go into it thinking I need material,” she says. “I follow my interests pretty—I don’t like the word ‘intuitively.’ I follow them in a kind of natural way, without questioning them too much. Alan tries to be the brake on my impulses.”

Cote’s reservations have not stopped Davis from running for a seat on the governing board of her village. One snowy Saturday morning in late January, she had plans to go door to door collecting signatures with “the other Davis,” whose name is Bill, and who was running for reëlection. For her nominating petition, she needed signatures from five per cent of the previous election’s voters, which amounted to two or three people. (The village has a population of five hundred and seventy-one.) The mayor told her they didn’t really pay attention to Democrat or Republican, and suggested she make up her own affiliation, so she is running as a member of the Schoolhouse Party. “I’m interested to see on a small scale how people get along or don’t get along,” she said.

The temperature was ten degrees. Davis got a clipboard and a notebook and put on her winter coat. She was excited. “But they’re all people you know,” Cote said. When Bill Davis arrived, they drove half a mile down the road, to Helen and John Mullaly’s house. John, once a teacher at Davis and Cote’s schoolhouse, had recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday. Helen, a former head nurse, was in her late eighties. The Davises stayed for more than an hour, listening to their stories, in an overheated dining room crowded with clocks and photographs and figurines. Twice, John showed them a picture, cut from a newspaper, of Davos, Switzerland, where he had been during the Second World War. “Cleared the summit, met the Pope, pushed back the Germans,” he said. When Helen mentioned that the house had been owned by a doctor, who kept a log which she had found in the attic, Lydia’s eyes shone. The different clocks ticked out of time.

Later, Davis said, “I’m kind of always working, in a sense. Sitting and talking to my neighbors, I’m not really working, but I’m always sort of alert to things.” Two things had struck her particularly: the objects in the dining room, and Helen’s remark, as they left, that she loved driving in snowstorms the way some people love skiing—the opposite of a cliché about an old lady. (Davis, unexpectedly, plays tin whistle and Ping-Pong, and several years ago publicly sang scenes from “The Magic Flute” dressed as a witch, in a cast made up mostly of teen-agers.) “I’m not bored,” Davis said. “I don’t like the high-powered literary life. I’d rather sit and listen to Helen and John and their stories than be at a cocktail party in New York.”

On their rounds, the two Davises had stopped in at Bill’s place, a white clapboard house with a single dormer window. “See how clean and nice it is?” Lydia said, entering a dining room with an open fireplace and a Shaker rake on the wall. Susan Shapiro, Bill’s wife, was inside. Naturally, the rug came up for discussion. “Where would it have gone?” Lydia asked. “We had picked out a spot in Mark’s room,” Bill said. “Now I feel guilty!” she said. The rug was still upstairs in her house, in Theo’s rarely used bedroom.

Both Davises asked Shapiro for her signature. Shapiro looked at them wryly and said, “The Two Davises and the Village Board.”

Evasion is the shadow side of overwrought explanation: dwelling on minutiae can mask a problem of unspeakable magnitude. In “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” when Davis objects to the company’s use of the portmanteau word “cremains” in reference to her father—before his death, the company had called him her “loved one”—distress over vocabulary stands in for mortal rage. What is left out gives the shape to what remains. Fictionalizing real events, Davis says, has to do with the selection of material, in the way of a teen-ager recounting to her mother how an evening was spent: “We went over to Joan’s house and hung out and listened to music, and then we went to McDonald’s.” Not the part about the vodka in the orange juice, not the part about the making out. Not a lie, just a different story.

For the most part, Davis leaves her children out of it. They represent a grammar problem in “A Double Negative”: “At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.” In “Selfish,” which Davis calls “a tongue-in-cheek monologue about parenting that’s less painful,” her children, unnamed and featureless, are faint but pervasive, stubborn as ghosts. “The useful thing about being a selfish person is that when your children get hurt you don’t mind so much because you yourself are all right,” she writes. Difficulty arises from not being quite selfish enough:

If you are just a little selfish, you take some trouble over them, you pay some attention to them, they have clean clothes most of the time, a fresh haircut fairly often, though not all the supplies they need for school, or not when they need them; you enjoy them, you laugh at their jokes, though you have little patience when they are naughty, they annoy you when you have work to do, and when they are very naughty you become very angry; you understand some of what they should have, in their lives, you know some of what they are doing, with their friends, you ask questions, though not very many, and not beyond a certain point, because there is so little time; then the trouble begins and you don’t notice signs of it because you are so busy; they steal, and you wonder how that thing came into the house; they show you what they have stolen, and when you ask questions, they lie; when they lie, you believe them, every time, because they seem so candid and it would take so long to find out the truth.
Incomplete selfishness, like a vaccination that doesn’t take, cannot protect against suffering. The only foolproof approach is to be totally selfish, to the point of being “privately relieved, glad, even delighted, that it isn’t happening to you.” In an e-mail, Davis wrote to me, “The narrator takes a pose. Or I take a pose through a confident narrator—in the beginning. Then—as so often happens in actual conversation—once one begins discussing a situation in detail, reliving it, one’s emotions change, one’s relation to the material changes. And that’s what happens in the story. When the narrator goes into detail, about the stealing and the lying, then she loses some of that confidence. She ends up pushing the difficult material away, saying, Don’t let it get near me.”

That story, with its shifting sense of culpability, is the closest Davis comes to describing her struggles with Daniel. As a teen-ager, he started going to clubs in New York City and became deeply involved with drugs. In 1996, when he was eighteen, he was present in the apartment when a dealer named Andre Melendez was murdered by Michael Alig, a former club promoter, and his roommate, Robert Riggs. Auster was given three thousand dollars of Melendez’s money in exchange for his silence, and later pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and served a five-year probation. A decade ago, Hustvedt published a best-selling novel, “What I Loved,” which reimagines the events with all the obliquity of an episode of “Law & Order.” The story features a troubled boy whose mother, a poet, produces work that is “scrupulous, concise, and invested with the comedy inherent in distance.” Hustvedt describes the poet herself as “all boarded up and shut down like a condemned house.”

Lifting from life, Davis is cautious. She tends to ask her friends for permission before including them in stories. “I don’t really want to offend people, so I try to avoid it,” she said. “It’s a shock to see yourself depicted in someone’s writing, even if it’s not particularly negative. It’s a matter of being taken away and used.” Her mechanisms can be subtle, though—a change of gender, or of name, or less. Mitch Sisskind recalled being in a bookstore, leafing through a literary journal. “I started reading this story and saw that one of the characters was me, by name,” he said. “I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never known anyone else that did that. I was flattered, but I was surprised.” She had referred to him as Mitchell, which no one does, thinking that it would disguise his identity.

A few years ago, when Harper’s was preparing to publish “Varieties of Disturbance,” a story about Davis’s mother, who was then still alive, Davis asked Daniel’s advice. (He lives in Florida and works at a performance space.) He suggested a small cut to spare his grandmother’s feelings. When the piece was collected in a book of the same name (a finalist for the National Book Award), she had died, and Davis restored the damning phrase, also at his suggestion.

“Hurting children is where I would draw the line,” Davis told me one evening, sitting in the kitchen with Cote. “A husband—you can hurt a husband. He does have to O.K. everything.” She turned to Cote. “You veto. But of course it’s not really fair to him, because then he’s called on to be gentlemanly.”

“There’s certain private stuff I don’t think is relevant,” Cote said.

“You’ve put up with it.”

“I was generous.”

“He’d have to think it’s a good piece of writing,” she said. “But the children are off limits.”

In her twenties, in Paris, Davis got about two-thirds of the way through “Swann’s Way,” in French, carefully writing down vocabulary and making notes. For the next thirty years, she earned a living mostly through translating. In a talk on the subject, she described her body of work as “books of all degrees of excellence and non-excellence, of interest and no interest . . . including a sentimental biography of Marie Curie, various histories of Chinese politics, art catalogues, the strange novels of Pierre Jean Jouve, a volume of travel essays by Michel Butor, and several books of fiction and literary philosophy by Maurice Blanchot.”

In 1997, Davis agreed to translate “Swann’s Way” for a new edition of “In Search of Lost Time.” She had never read the version by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, whose enhanced Edwardian style may be the reason most readers in English flag after a volume or two, and she didn’t read it then. She started working through the French, page by page, not skipping ahead to see what came next. “Just the way I wouldn’t write anything, even an e-mail, if it wasn’t decently written, the translation has to be good right away,” she told me. “I write it quickly but well, so that some of the time I would feel like a sieve or funnel, or maybe ‘pipeline’ is a better word.”

When she finished her draft, she looked carefully at the previous translations, particularly Scott Moncrieff’s. “Proust is plainer in his language and more straightforward and in a way more contemporary than the translation,” she says. “My aim was to stay very close.” The response to what one critic called Davis’s “sans-serif version,” published in 2003, was reserved: some reviewers felt that her accuracy—which kept intact word order and punctuation, and often preferred an obscure cognate to a flashier English rendering—came at the expense of felicity. The Times, however, praised her “fine rigor and exactitude.”

The book’s success is as important to Davis as that of any of her fictions. “I’m more jealous, almost, of my translations,” she says. “I really want my Proust to take the place of the Scott Moncrieff, because I think it’s closer.”

Davis’s downstairs office has rose-pink floor-length curtains, a space heater, and a cat. Small shelves are filled with books—“Studies in Lowland Scots,” “Famous Dogs in Fiction”—relevant to “Bob, Son of Battle,” a children’s book, published in 1898, that she read as a child and is now “translating” from tricky Victorian English into language a present-day Brearley girl could manage. Her desk is two file cabinets with a board laid across the top. Above it, on a bulletin board, is a homemade family tree that traces her connections to an ancestor whose description of life in a nineteenth-century New England village she has fashioned into verse. A photocopied page from an old notebook serves as another kind of genealogy, some two hundred years’ worth of fiction writers, from Swift to Hemingway. “I found it and thought, Well, that’s worth looking at every now and again,” she said. “I don’t really have the picture in my head. I probably did it when I was quite young. I was always trying to learn and remember.”

It is not only the act of writing that forces Davis to write fiction; reading is a danger, too. “I don’t need to go to other writers to get excited,” she says. “The problem is almost the opposite. Certain kinds of writing will give me too many ideas. I have to keep stopping and reacting.” She recently got a collection of lectures Roland Barthes gave at the Sorbonne. “I found that there were so many interesting ideas in one paragraph that I almost couldn’t read it.”

E-mail can be equally threatening. In the office, Davis opened up her account to a folder of messages from the Listserv at Bard College, where she used to teach occasionally and where Cote was on the faculty for three decades. Material, practically ready-made. Here was a message from a woman named Lisa Hedges, wondering if anyone had seen her glasses. “I loved her name,” Davis said. “This is what it started as: ‘Round, faux tortoiseshell glasses, bifocal lenses, lost sometime Friday, between the Nursery School, B Village, A Sacred Space. It would be great if somebody has found them and they aren’t in a place covered in a foot of snow!’ ”

What it became:

Personal Announcement
Woman named Shrubbs
Has lost faux tortoiseshell eyeglasses

Where?
Somewhere between nursery school
and sacred space

They are possibly
covered by snow.
“This is very vestigial,” Davis said. “Or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.” Sometimes the longer something sits, the more finished it seems. A little while later, she said, “When you’re spying, when you’re looking, when you’re on the alert for a story, part of it is seeing the thing in isolation, apart from the normalizing context.”

Found objects emerge frequently as source and as finished work. (“An Example of the Continuing Past Tense in a Hotel Room”: “Your housekeeper has been Shelly.”) Davis sees this repurposing as thrift. She says, “My grandmother, my mother, and me—we were always making do and saving, very economical. I like the idea that the writing would belong to that practical tradition.”

Even now, much of Davis’s writing has its first life in obscure literary magazines. All the editors have to do is ask. If she likes the cover letter, and feels she can trust them, she’ll send work. In small magazines she feels free to experiment. “There’s an opposition between what’s good for my career and what’s good for my writing,” she said, walking back into the kitchen, where Cote was waiting for his lunch. “What’s good for my writing is these little places.”

“You’re building your fan base,” Cote said.

“I don’t think I’d ever think of it as ‘building my fan base.’ I would never sit back and do that intentionally.”

“Then they go on YouTube and start talking about it,” Cote said.

“I really like being read by young people,” Davis said. “I love it that friends of my son Theo, who is twenty-five, will say, ‘Is your mother Lydia Davis? I love her work. ’ ”

In 2001, Davis published a book with McSweeney’s, after Dave Eggers wrote her a fan letter. New, young readers found in her work an idiosyncratic approach to the problem of storytelling, something handmade or unmade, each story like a cool thing from an old junk shop. The title piece—“Samuel Johnson Is Indignant:”—was one line long: “that Scotland has so few trees.” (Humor, language, emotion.) “That’s such a radical act and so liberating to put that on a page and call it finished,” Eggers told me. “For those of us who are attracted to people who make room for new ways of defining a short story or who defy categorization at all, she was a real hero.”

By the time FSG published her “Collected,” in 2009, American fiction had more fully accommodated itself to the insubstantial. Everything is too hard to understand until it isn’t. For the first time, Davis’s writing was acknowledged as belonging to an American tradition. Jonathan Galassi, the president and publisher of FSG, says, “People caught up with her.”

“I have to guard against the tendency—I could make anything into a story,” Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to her literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. “I was trying just to write instructions, you know, ‘My notebooks should go here,’ ‘You should look through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,’ ” she said. “But it began to get too elaborate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn’t a straightforward document any more. I didn’t really want it to be a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor.” She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. ♦

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an abstract painter, in a tiny village in Rensselaer County, New York. Cote is large, warm, taciturn, and wears a mustache. Their house is a converted elementary school, built in 1930 by the W.P.A.: neo-Georgian, brick, with Boston ivy and fifteen-foot ceilings. He paints in the gymnasium; the bathtub is in the teachers’ lounge. On the fence outside, a sign made from found sticks spells “L’Ecole.”

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. “I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle,” she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month’s selection for her book club—local women, wine, family talk—was full of mixed metaphors. “I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake,” she said. “A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something’s wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is.” She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. “Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor,” she said. She read another: “ ‘A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.’ I thought about that. You’d think he could get away with it, but he can’t, because ‘stuffed’ is a verb that comes from material. It’s soft, so it’s a problem to stuff it with something hard.” There were sentences about camouflaging with a veneer, and girding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. “Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison,” she said.

But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author’s photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. “I just write down one sentence,” she said. “This would be me assuming a kind of yenta voice: ‘Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.’ ” She smiled. “It’s me feeling a little sorry that I’m writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so friendly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don’t look so innocent.”

In the summer of 1973, when Davis was twenty-six, she and her boyfriend Paul Auster went to live in the South of France, as caretakers of an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse with a red tile roof and an enclosed garden. They had been in Paris for two years already, translating French novels and poems and art catalogues and film scripts—sometimes the pay amounted to five dollars a page—and working assiduously on their own writing.

At Barnard, where Davis went to college, she had been a distracted student, occasionally accompanying Auster to his classes at Columbia rather than attending her own. (They met in the spring of their freshman year.) They played touch football and one-on-one basketball. Davis had long honey-colored hair and a dreamy affect. “She had pheromones, and men and boys followed her around panting,” an old friend said.

Auster was sunken-eyed and soulful, with a cocked eyebrow, or, as he puts it, “a dark-haired Jewish boy from New Jersey with a public-school education.” Davis had gone to Brearley, and then to Putney, a boarding school with farm work, in Vermont. Her father, Robert Gorham Davis, taught English at Columbia—modern short stories—and her mother, Hope Hale Davis, wrote fiction for women’s magazines and occasionally for The New Yorker. First they were Communists, then liberals (he was questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities); always they were avid party-givers. Lionel Trilling came to the apartment, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Edward Said. In memoirs, Auster portrays himself as helplessly impressed by Davis, loving more than he was loved. He writes, “For the most part you were the pursuer, and she alternated between resisting your advances and wanting to be caught.” Among their friends—“arcane, avant-garde intellectuals,” Mitch Sisskind, who was one of them, said—Davis was the eccentric. “We were all reading Kafka,” he told me. “She read Kafka, too—and you can see the influence—but she also read ‘The Making of a Surgeon.’ ”

In the country, Auster wrote poems; Davis struggled to write traditional short stories, of the kind her parents admired. (Later, they would say, Why don’t you write about your travels or something more cheerful?) She copied out lines of Beckett to understand how the sentences functioned, and tacked them to the wall. The stories, however, were too masterly to imitate. She read mysteries, weighed herself, threw pebbles in an urn. She tried to make herself stay at her desk till lunch. Auster, on the other hand, could easily work all day.

At the end of August, Davis happened to read a strange little book of very short stories by the poet Russell Edson. Here was a contemporary, an American, whose stories, unlike those of her literary heroes, sometimes failed. Within days, she had started writing strange little stories of her own. She set a goal, two per day. “I didn’t think too hard about what I was going to do,” she told me. “I just snatched an idea from the air, I just went with it, and I didn’t think about what the meaning was of the story, and I still don’t like to do that.” She started to enjoy herself. A month after reading Edson, she wrote “The Thirteenth Woman,” a hundred-and-thirty-eight-word story in two sentences, which she sees as “the first seminal story.” The same day, she wrote “The Transformation,” a page-long fable about a woman who turns into a stone. She worked in a plain cardboard notebook, with a studied hand. “Must conquer this afternoon malaise,” one late-September entry starts, followed by six stories. “She would get an idea, three or four sentences or a paragraph, and she would write it clean off the top of her head and that would be it,” Auster told me. “The stuff she labored over never turned out as successfully.”

Anything Davis wrote might turn, unbidden, into fiction. In her notebook, she composed a letter to her friend Jack LeVert (part of their Kafka-reading, touch-football-playing crowd), who was planning to visit them at the farmhouse:

If you were to look in on us, you would be amazed at the elegance in which we live. You would see us sweep into the driveway in a pale green station wagon, casually pat our thoroughbreds as we entered our restored, pre-revolutionary home with its thick beams and red tiled floors. . . . You would see us during the day with dreamy looks in our eyes writing poetry and little dibs and dabs of nothing, as though we had been born to idleness. Perhaps I would invite you to go sketching and we would take the folding chairs and our pads of sketch paper. Perhaps later we would listen to an opera from where we lounged beside the bright medieval fireplace, our Labradors sleeping at our feet on their deerskin rug. But as dinnertime approached you would notice that we grew nervous. At first it would be hardly perceptible, the smallest haunted look in our eyes, a dark shadow on our faces. You would intercept embarrassed glances. I would blush suddenly and turn pale and when dinner arrived, though the pottery were of the finest quality, hand turned, and the mats from Japan and the napkins from India, the beans would stick in your throat, the carrots would break the tines of your fork and you would recognize the taste of cat. How much more painful is poverty for the caretakers.

“The new piece of paper you like to keep on your desk came in.”
BUY OR LICENSE »
The hardship was romantic, self-imposed. “We both came from families that had enough money to rescue us,” Davis said. “This was all our own choice, really. It was for our so-called art.” When they finally ran out of money, they returned to New York, nine dollars between them. Davis’s father helped get them an apartment on Riverside Drive, and they were married there in the fall of 1974. (Auster, in “Winter Journal,” a memoir: “Given the frequent changes of heart that had afflicted the two of you from the beginning, the constant comings and goings, the affairs with other people, the breakups and makeups that followed one another as regularly as the changing of the seasons, the thought that either one of you should have considered marriage at this point now strikes you as an act of delusional folly.” Davis: “I read about some town in Northern California, where the pastor at the church—or is it the law?—said you’re not allowed to get married without three or four visits to the pastoral counselor ahead of time to discuss your expectations or habits or needs. It’s worked out very well. People don’t get divorced.”) Davis briefly studied to become a speech therapist. Instead, she and Auster moved to Berkeley and published a collection of her pieces, “The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories,” in an edition of five hundred. The poets in their circle loved it.

The following year, expecting a child, they bought an old house in Dutchess County—a cursed house, according to Auster, who found “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a box on the back porch and a dried-up crow, like an omen, behind a chest of drawers. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1977, and when he was eighteen months old they separated. Auster moved back to the city, and, after they divorced, married the novelist Siri Hustvedt. Eventually, Davis moved back, too, and lived a few blocks from them in Brooklyn to make it easier for Daniel to go back and forth. Davis worked as a typesetter at a small Brooklyn newspaper; the checks the paper wrote her bounced.

The question of what constitutes a story is troublesome. E. M. Forster wrote, “ ‘The king died and then the queen died’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.” Davis’s stories have very little in the way of plot; sometimes people get indignant and ask her why she doesn’t call them poems or fragments. (She prefers the deeper associations of the word “story.”) Like thoughts, her pieces are reiterative; she sooner makes chronology a subject than a formal device. She says her work arises from a conjunction of humor, language, and emotional difficulty. Sometimes that means high culture, low culture, and animals; that is, a contradiction, plus the life force. Usually, she sets out to answer a single question and tries to stop between incomprehensibility (too little detail) and boredom (too much). Her longer pieces slacken and drift, but at fifteen hundred words the line is taut. As one of her narrators says, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long.” Even poets find her concentration bracing. Matthew Zapruder, a poet and editor who keeps Davis’s “Collected Stories” on his shelf and turns to it whenever he needs a jolt, says, “It almost feels like a challenge to poetry. She can do this, why can’t we?”

“By fiction now I just mean a construct that’s a little different from reality,” Davis told me. “One aspect of that is a narrative voice that’s a little artificial, not quite my own.” As a person, Davis is tactful if particular; the speakers of her stories tend to be grand and hysterical, flies in bottles, frustrated by obstacles they can’t see. The woman who goes over and over a sequence of events, trying to establish whether her lover is being unfaithful; the man who calculates the cost per hour of a ten-day affair. (Those two examples come from “Break It Down,” her first full-length book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1986. That author photo—her frank gaze—gave rise to at least one come-on letter.) “The narrators are overthinking, and the overthinking tends to be funny, but the overthinking tends to be rooted in strong feeling,” Lorin Stein, who worked with her on two later books at FSG and is now the editor of The Paris Review, says. “You have the sense of characters who have a strong motivation to do something absurd and unproductive.”

“I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators,” Davis said. “I’ll see a kind of mousy, earnest person at a reading, a woman with limp, long, dark hair, kind of very woebegone and sincere.” Some of her narrators, she thinks, are desperate to be understood. “That’s why they go into too much detail,” she said. “ ‘In case you didn’t quite get it, let me explain further.’ ”

When Davis was younger, the obsessions of her narrators tended to be amorous; now they are philosophical. “The Two Davises and the Rug,” in the new collection, is the story of two people named Davis, who “were not married to each other and they were not related by blood.” They are kindred nonetheless: “They were both indecisive people, or rather, they could be very decisive about some things, important things, or things to do with their work, but they could be very indecisive about smaller things, and change their minds from one day to the next, over and over again, being completely decided in favor of something one day and then completely decided against the same thing the next day.”

In the story, “this Davis” decides to sell a red-white-and-black wool rug at a yard sale to benefit a good cause. The rug has been lying in her son’s room, but her son doesn’t live at home anymore. At the yard sale, “the other Davis” considers buying it but doesn’t. By the time he has decided that he wants the rug, this Davis has decided to keep it. For the next twelve hundred words, this Davis worries extravagantly: should she, who had not really valued the rug until someone else desired it, keep it, or should she let the other Davis, whose house is “clean and tidy and thoughtfully arranged,” have it? Which one of them deserves it?

Davis did the same thing with a rug a few years ago, after Theo, her son with Cote, went away to college. “With that story, I’m not leaving out anything relevant,” she says. “But the obsessive quality is exaggerated. A lot is true, the ins and outs of reasoning, but a lot of normal life went on the same. In the story, you get the impression that the rug was the only thing happening. In real life, it’s just one strand. It’s, O.K., let’s see what happens if this rug and this dilemma becomes everything.”

For a contemplative, Davis is remarkably social. When Daniel was a baby, she joined a softball team; later, when Theo was young, she took a line-dancing class. She escapes herself, and the house, given half an opportunity—to collect stories for an oral history of the village, to sit on a town zoning board. “I don’t go into it thinking I need material,” she says. “I follow my interests pretty—I don’t like the word ‘intuitively.’ I follow them in a kind of natural way, without questioning them too much. Alan tries to be the brake on my impulses.”

Cote’s reservations have not stopped Davis from running for a seat on the governing board of her village. One snowy Saturday morning in late January, she had plans to go door to door collecting signatures with “the other Davis,” whose name is Bill, and who was running for reëlection. For her nominating petition, she needed signatures from five per cent of the previous election’s voters, which amounted to two or three people. (The village has a population of five hundred and seventy-one.) The mayor told her they didn’t really pay attention to Democrat or Republican, and suggested she make up her own affiliation, so she is running as a member of the Schoolhouse Party. “I’m interested to see on a small scale how people get along or don’t get along,” she said.

The temperature was ten degrees. Davis got a clipboard and a notebook and put on her winter coat. She was excited. “But they’re all people you know,” Cote said. When Bill Davis arrived, they drove half a mile down the road, to Helen and John Mullaly’s house. John, once a teacher at Davis and Cote’s schoolhouse, had recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday. Helen, a former head nurse, was in her late eighties. The Davises stayed for more than an hour, listening to their stories, in an overheated dining room crowded with clocks and photographs and figurines. Twice, John showed them a picture, cut from a newspaper, of Davos, Switzerland, where he had been during the Second World War. “Cleared the summit, met the Pope, pushed back the Germans,” he said. When Helen mentioned that the house had been owned by a doctor, who kept a log which she had found in the attic, Lydia’s eyes shone. The different clocks ticked out of time.

Later, Davis said, “I’m kind of always working, in a sense. Sitting and talking to my neighbors, I’m not really working, but I’m always sort of alert to things.” Two things had struck her particularly: the objects in the dining room, and Helen’s remark, as they left, that she loved driving in snowstorms the way some people love skiing—the opposite of a cliché about an old lady. (Davis, unexpectedly, plays tin whistle and Ping-Pong, and several years ago publicly sang scenes from “The Magic Flute” dressed as a witch, in a cast made up mostly of teen-agers.) “I’m not bored,” Davis said. “I don’t like the high-powered literary life. I’d rather sit and listen to Helen and John and their stories than be at a cocktail party in New York.”

On their rounds, the two Davises had stopped in at Bill’s place, a white clapboard house with a single dormer window. “See how clean and nice it is?” Lydia said, entering a dining room with an open fireplace and a Shaker rake on the wall. Susan Shapiro, Bill’s wife, was inside. Naturally, the rug came up for discussion. “Where would it have gone?” Lydia asked. “We had picked out a spot in Mark’s room,” Bill said. “Now I feel guilty!” she said. The rug was still upstairs in her house, in Theo’s rarely used bedroom.

Both Davises asked Shapiro for her signature. Shapiro looked at them wryly and said, “The Two Davises and the Village Board.”

Evasion is the shadow side of overwrought explanation: dwelling on minutiae can mask a problem of unspeakable magnitude. In “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” when Davis objects to the company’s use of the portmanteau word “cremains” in reference to her father—before his death, the company had called him her “loved one”—distress over vocabulary stands in for mortal rage. What is left out gives the shape to what remains. Fictionalizing real events, Davis says, has to do with the selection of material, in the way of a teen-ager recounting to her mother how an evening was spent: “We went over to Joan’s house and hung out and listened to music, and then we went to McDonald’s.” Not the part about the vodka in the orange juice, not the part about the making out. Not a lie, just a different story.

For the most part, Davis leaves her children out of it. They represent a grammar problem in “A Double Negative”: “At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.” In “Selfish,” which Davis calls “a tongue-in-cheek monologue about parenting that’s less painful,” her children, unnamed and featureless, are faint but pervasive, stubborn as ghosts. “The useful thing about being a selfish person is that when your children get hurt you don’t mind so much because you yourself are all right,” she writes. Difficulty arises from not being quite selfish enough:

If you are just a little selfish, you take some trouble over them, you pay some attention to them, they have clean clothes most of the time, a fresh haircut fairly often, though not all the supplies they need for school, or not when they need them; you enjoy them, you laugh at their jokes, though you have little patience when they are naughty, they annoy you when you have work to do, and when they are very naughty you become very angry; you understand some of what they should have, in their lives, you know some of what they are doing, with their friends, you ask questions, though not very many, and not beyond a certain point, because there is so little time; then the trouble begins and you don’t notice signs of it because you are so busy; they steal, and you wonder how that thing came into the house; they show you what they have stolen, and when you ask questions, they lie; when they lie, you believe them, every time, because they seem so candid and it would take so long to find out the truth.
Incomplete selfishness, like a vaccination that doesn’t take, cannot protect against suffering. The only foolproof approach is to be totally selfish, to the point of being “privately relieved, glad, even delighted, that it isn’t happening to you.” In an e-mail, Davis wrote to me, “The narrator takes a pose. Or I take a pose through a confident narrator—in the beginning. Then—as so often happens in actual conversation—once one begins discussing a situation in detail, reliving it, one’s emotions change, one’s relation to the material changes. And that’s what happens in the story. When the narrator goes into detail, about the stealing and the lying, then she loses some of that confidence. She ends up pushing the difficult material away, saying, Don’t let it get near me.”

That story, with its shifting sense of culpability, is the closest Davis comes to describing her struggles with Daniel. As a teen-ager, he started going to clubs in New York City and became deeply involved with drugs. In 1996, when he was eighteen, he was present in the apartment when a dealer named Andre Melendez was murdered by Michael Alig, a former club promoter, and his roommate, Robert Riggs. Auster was given three thousand dollars of Melendez’s money in exchange for his silence, and later pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and served a five-year probation. A decade ago, Hustvedt published a best-selling novel, “What I Loved,” which reimagines the events with all the obliquity of an episode of “Law & Order.” The story features a troubled boy whose mother, a poet, produces work that is “scrupulous, concise, and invested with the comedy inherent in distance.” Hustvedt describes the poet herself as “all boarded up and shut down like a condemned house.”

Lifting from life, Davis is cautious. She tends to ask her friends for permission before including them in stories. “I don’t really want to offend people, so I try to avoid it,” she said. “It’s a shock to see yourself depicted in someone’s writing, even if it’s not particularly negative. It’s a matter of being taken away and used.” Her mechanisms can be subtle, though—a change of gender, or of name, or less. Mitch Sisskind recalled being in a bookstore, leafing through a literary journal. “I started reading this story and saw that one of the characters was me, by name,” he said. “I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never known anyone else that did that. I was flattered, but I was surprised.” She had referred to him as Mitchell, which no one does, thinking that it would disguise his identity.

A few years ago, when Harper’s was preparing to publish “Varieties of Disturbance,” a story about Davis’s mother, who was then still alive, Davis asked Daniel’s advice. (He lives in Florida and works at a performance space.) He suggested a small cut to spare his grandmother’s feelings. When the piece was collected in a book of the same name (a finalist for the National Book Award), she had died, and Davis restored the damning phrase, also at his suggestion.

“Hurting children is where I would draw the line,” Davis told me one evening, sitting in the kitchen with Cote. “A husband—you can hurt a husband. He does have to O.K. everything.” She turned to Cote. “You veto. But of course it’s not really fair to him, because then he’s called on to be gentlemanly.”

“There’s certain private stuff I don’t think is relevant,” Cote said.

“You’ve put up with it.”

“I was generous.”

“He’d have to think it’s a good piece of writing,” she said. “But the children are off limits.”

In her twenties, in Paris, Davis got about two-thirds of the way through “Swann’s Way,” in French, carefully writing down vocabulary and making notes. For the next thirty years, she earned a living mostly through translating. In a talk on the subject, she described her body of work as “books of all degrees of excellence and non-excellence, of interest and no interest . . . including a sentimental biography of Marie Curie, various histories of Chinese politics, art catalogues, the strange novels of Pierre Jean Jouve, a volume of travel essays by Michel Butor, and several books of fiction and literary philosophy by Maurice Blanchot.”

In 1997, Davis agreed to translate “Swann’s Way” for a new edition of “In Search of Lost Time.” She had never read the version by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, whose enhanced Edwardian style may be the reason most readers in English flag after a volume or two, and she didn’t read it then. She started working through the French, page by page, not skipping ahead to see what came next. “Just the way I wouldn’t write anything, even an e-mail, if it wasn’t decently written, the translation has to be good right away,” she told me. “I write it quickly but well, so that some of the time I would feel like a sieve or funnel, or maybe ‘pipeline’ is a better word.”

When she finished her draft, she looked carefully at the previous translations, particularly Scott Moncrieff’s. “Proust is plainer in his language and more straightforward and in a way more contemporary than the translation,” she says. “My aim was to stay very close.” The response to what one critic called Davis’s “sans-serif version,” published in 2003, was reserved: some reviewers felt that her accuracy—which kept intact word order and punctuation, and often preferred an obscure cognate to a flashier English rendering—came at the expense of felicity. The Times, however, praised her “fine rigor and exactitude.”

The book’s success is as important to Davis as that of any of her fictions. “I’m more jealous, almost, of my translations,” she says. “I really want my Proust to take the place of the Scott Moncrieff, because I think it’s closer.”

Davis’s downstairs office has rose-pink floor-length curtains, a space heater, and a cat. Small shelves are filled with books—“Studies in Lowland Scots,” “Famous Dogs in Fiction”—relevant to “Bob, Son of Battle,” a children’s book, published in 1898, that she read as a child and is now “translating” from tricky Victorian English into language a present-day Brearley girl could manage. Her desk is two file cabinets with a board laid across the top. Above it, on a bulletin board, is a homemade family tree that traces her connections to an ancestor whose description of life in a nineteenth-century New England village she has fashioned into verse. A photocopied page from an old notebook serves as another kind of genealogy, some two hundred years’ worth of fiction writers, from Swift to Hemingway. “I found it and thought, Well, that’s worth looking at every now and again,” she said. “I don’t really have the picture in my head. I probably did it when I was quite young. I was always trying to learn and remember.”

It is not only the act of writing that forces Davis to write fiction; reading is a danger, too. “I don’t need to go to other writers to get excited,” she says. “The problem is almost the opposite. Certain kinds of writing will give me too many ideas. I have to keep stopping and reacting.” She recently got a collection of lectures Roland Barthes gave at the Sorbonne. “I found that there were so many interesting ideas in one paragraph that I almost couldn’t read it.”

E-mail can be equally threatening. In the office, Davis opened up her account to a folder of messages from the Listserv at Bard College, where she used to teach occasionally and where Cote was on the faculty for three decades. Material, practically ready-made. Here was a message from a woman named Lisa Hedges, wondering if anyone had seen her glasses. “I loved her name,” Davis said. “This is what it started as: ‘Round, faux tortoiseshell glasses, bifocal lenses, lost sometime Friday, between the Nursery School, B Village, A Sacred Space. It would be great if somebody has found them and they aren’t in a place covered in a foot of snow!’ ”

What it became:

Personal Announcement
Woman named Shrubbs
Has lost faux tortoiseshell eyeglasses

Where?
Somewhere between nursery school
and sacred space

They are possibly
covered by snow.
“This is very vestigial,” Davis said. “Or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.” Sometimes the longer something sits, the more finished it seems. A little while later, she said, “When you’re spying, when you’re looking, when you’re on the alert for a story, part of it is seeing the thing in isolation, apart from the normalizing context.”

Found objects emerge frequently as source and as finished work. (“An Example of the Continuing Past Tense in a Hotel Room”: “Your housekeeper has been Shelly.”) Davis sees this repurposing as thrift. She says, “My grandmother, my mother, and me—we were always making do and saving, very economical. I like the idea that the writing would belong to that practical tradition.”

Even now, much of Davis’s writing has its first life in obscure literary magazines. All the editors have to do is ask. If she likes the cover letter, and feels she can trust them, she’ll send work. In small magazines she feels free to experiment. “There’s an opposition between what’s good for my career and what’s good for my writing,” she said, walking back into the kitchen, where Cote was waiting for his lunch. “What’s good for my writing is these little places.”

“You’re building your fan base,” Cote said.

“I don’t think I’d ever think of it as ‘building my fan base.’ I would never sit back and do that intentionally.”

“Then they go on YouTube and start talking about it,” Cote said.

“I really like being read by young people,” Davis said. “I love it that friends of my son Theo, who is twenty-five, will say, ‘Is your mother Lydia Davis? I love her work. ’ ”

In 2001, Davis published a book with McSweeney’s, after Dave Eggers wrote her a fan letter. New, young readers found in her work an idiosyncratic approach to the problem of storytelling, something handmade or unmade, each story like a cool thing from an old junk shop. The title piece—“Samuel Johnson Is Indignant:”—was one line long: “that Scotland has so few trees.” (Humor, language, emotion.) “That’s such a radical act and so liberating to put that on a page and call it finished,” Eggers told me. “For those of us who are attracted to people who make room for new ways of defining a short story or who defy categorization at all, she was a real hero.”

By the time FSG published her “Collected,” in 2009, American fiction had more fully accommodated itself to the insubstantial. Everything is too hard to understand until it isn’t. For the first time, Davis’s writing was acknowledged as belonging to an American tradition. Jonathan Galassi, the president and publisher of FSG, says, “People caught up with her.”

“I have to guard against the tendency—I could make anything into a story,” Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to her literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. “I was trying just to write instructions, you know, ‘My notebooks should go here,’ ‘You should look through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,’ ” she said. “But it began to get too elaborate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn’t a straightforward document any more. I didn’t really want it to be a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor.” She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. ♦

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an abstract painter, in a tiny village in Rensselaer County, New York. Cote is large, warm, taciturn, and wears a mustache. Their house is a converted elementary school, built in 1930 by the W.P.A.: neo-Georgian, brick, with Boston ivy and fifteen-foot ceilings. He paints in the gymnasium; the bathtub is in the teachers’ lounge. On the fence outside, a sign made from found sticks spells “L’Ecole.”

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. “I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle,” she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month’s selection for her book club—local women, wine, family talk—was full of mixed metaphors. “I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake,” she said. “A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something’s wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is.” She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. “Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor,” she said. She read another: “ ‘A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.’ I thought about that. You’d think he could get away with it, but he can’t, because ‘stuffed’ is a verb that comes from material. It’s soft, so it’s a problem to stuff it with something hard.” There were sentences about camouflaging with a veneer, and girding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. “Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison,” she said.

But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author’s photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. “I just write down one sentence,” she said. “This would be me assuming a kind of yenta voice: ‘Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.’ ” She smiled. “It’s me feeling a little sorry that I’m writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so friendly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don’t look so innocent.”

In the summer of 1973, when Davis was twenty-six, she and her boyfriend Paul Auster went to live in the South of France, as caretakers of an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse with a red tile roof and an enclosed garden. They had been in Paris for two years already, translating French novels and poems and art catalogues and film scripts—sometimes the pay amounted to five dollars a page—and working assiduously on their own writing.

At Barnard, where Davis went to college, she had been a distracted student, occasionally accompanying Auster to his classes at Columbia rather than attending her own. (They met in the spring of their freshman year.) They played touch football and one-on-one basketball. Davis had long honey-colored hair and a dreamy affect. “She had pheromones, and men and boys followed her around panting,” an old friend said.

Auster was sunken-eyed and soulful, with a cocked eyebrow, or, as he puts it, “a dark-haired Jewish boy from New Jersey with a public-school education.” Davis had gone to Brearley, and then to Putney, a boarding school with farm work, in Vermont. Her father, Robert Gorham Davis, taught English at Columbia—modern short stories—and her mother, Hope Hale Davis, wrote fiction for women’s magazines and occasionally for The New Yorker. First they were Communists, then liberals (he was questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities); always they were avid party-givers. Lionel Trilling came to the apartment, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Edward Said. In memoirs, Auster portrays himself as helplessly impressed by Davis, loving more than he was loved. He writes, “For the most part you were the pursuer, and she alternated between resisting your advances and wanting to be caught.” Among their friends—“arcane, avant-garde intellectuals,” Mitch Sisskind, who was one of them, said—Davis was the eccentric. “We were all reading Kafka,” he told me. “She read Kafka, too—and you can see the influence—but she also read ‘The Making of a Surgeon.’ ”

In the country, Auster wrote poems; Davis struggled to write traditional short stories, of the kind her parents admired. (Later, they would say, Why don’t you write about your travels or something more cheerful?) She copied out lines of Beckett to understand how the sentences functioned, and tacked them to the wall. The stories, however, were too masterly to imitate. She read mysteries, weighed herself, threw pebbles in an urn. She tried to make herself stay at her desk till lunch. Auster, on the other hand, could easily work all day.

At the end of August, Davis happened to read a strange little book of very short stories by the poet Russell Edson. Here was a contemporary, an American, whose stories, unlike those of her literary heroes, sometimes failed. Within days, she had started writing strange little stories of her own. She set a goal, two per day. “I didn’t think too hard about what I was going to do,” she told me. “I just snatched an idea from the air, I just went with it, and I didn’t think about what the meaning was of the story, and I still don’t like to do that.” She started to enjoy herself. A month after reading Edson, she wrote “The Thirteenth Woman,” a hundred-and-thirty-eight-word story in two sentences, which she sees as “the first seminal story.” The same day, she wrote “The Transformation,” a page-long fable about a woman who turns into a stone. She worked in a plain cardboard notebook, with a studied hand. “Must conquer this afternoon malaise,” one late-September entry starts, followed by six stories. “She would get an idea, three or four sentences or a paragraph, and she would write it clean off the top of her head and that would be it,” Auster told me. “The stuff she labored over never turned out as successfully.”

Anything Davis wrote might turn, unbidden, into fiction. In her notebook, she composed a letter to her friend Jack LeVert (part of their Kafka-reading, touch-football-playing crowd), who was planning to visit them at the farmhouse:

If you were to look in on us, you would be amazed at the elegance in which we live. You would see us sweep into the driveway in a pale green station wagon, casually pat our thoroughbreds as we entered our restored, pre-revolutionary home with its thick beams and red tiled floors. . . . You would see us during the day with dreamy looks in our eyes writing poetry and little dibs and dabs of nothing, as though we had been born to idleness. Perhaps I would invite you to go sketching and we would take the folding chairs and our pads of sketch paper. Perhaps later we would listen to an opera from where we lounged beside the bright medieval fireplace, our Labradors sleeping at our feet on their deerskin rug. But as dinnertime approached you would notice that we grew nervous. At first it would be hardly perceptible, the smallest haunted look in our eyes, a dark shadow on our faces. You would intercept embarrassed glances. I would blush suddenly and turn pale and when dinner arrived, though the pottery were of the finest quality, hand turned, and the mats from Japan and the napkins from India, the beans would stick in your throat, the carrots would break the tines of your fork and you would recognize the taste of cat. How much more painful is poverty for the caretakers.

“The new piece of paper you like to keep on your desk came in.”
BUY OR LICENSE »
The hardship was romantic, self-imposed. “We both came from families that had enough money to rescue us,” Davis said. “This was all our own choice, really. It was for our so-called art.” When they finally ran out of money, they returned to New York, nine dollars between them. Davis’s father helped get them an apartment on Riverside Drive, and they were married there in the fall of 1974. (Auster, in “Winter Journal,” a memoir: “Given the frequent changes of heart that had afflicted the two of you from the beginning, the constant comings and goings, the affairs with other people, the breakups and makeups that followed one another as regularly as the changing of the seasons, the thought that either one of you should have considered marriage at this point now strikes you as an act of delusional folly.” Davis: “I read about some town in Northern California, where the pastor at the church—or is it the law?—said you’re not allowed to get married without three or four visits to the pastoral counselor ahead of time to discuss your expectations or habits or needs. It’s worked out very well. People don’t get divorced.”) Davis briefly studied to become a speech therapist. Instead, she and Auster moved to Berkeley and published a collection of her pieces, “The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories,” in an edition of five hundred. The poets in their circle loved it.

The following year, expecting a child, they bought an old house in Dutchess County—a cursed house, according to Auster, who found “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a box on the back porch and a dried-up crow, like an omen, behind a chest of drawers. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1977, and when he was eighteen months old they separated. Auster moved back to the city, and, after they divorced, married the novelist Siri Hustvedt. Eventually, Davis moved back, too, and lived a few blocks from them in Brooklyn to make it easier for Daniel to go back and forth. Davis worked as a typesetter at a small Brooklyn newspaper; the checks the paper wrote her bounced.

The question of what constitutes a story is troublesome. E. M. Forster wrote, “ ‘The king died and then the queen died’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.” Davis’s stories have very little in the way of plot; sometimes people get indignant and ask her why she doesn’t call them poems or fragments. (She prefers the deeper associations of the word “story.”) Like thoughts, her pieces are reiterative; she sooner makes chronology a subject than a formal device. She says her work arises from a conjunction of humor, language, and emotional difficulty. Sometimes that means high culture, low culture, and animals; that is, a contradiction, plus the life force. Usually, she sets out to answer a single question and tries to stop between incomprehensibility (too little detail) and boredom (too much). Her longer pieces slacken and drift, but at fifteen hundred words the line is taut. As one of her narrators says, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long.” Even poets find her concentration bracing. Matthew Zapruder, a poet and editor who keeps Davis’s “Collected Stories” on his shelf and turns to it whenever he needs a jolt, says, “It almost feels like a challenge to poetry. She can do this, why can’t we?”

“By fiction now I just mean a construct that’s a little different from reality,” Davis told me. “One aspect of that is a narrative voice that’s a little artificial, not quite my own.” As a person, Davis is tactful if particular; the speakers of her stories tend to be grand and hysterical, flies in bottles, frustrated by obstacles they can’t see. The woman who goes over and over a sequence of events, trying to establish whether her lover is being unfaithful; the man who calculates the cost per hour of a ten-day affair. (Those two examples come from “Break It Down,” her first full-length book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1986. That author photo—her frank gaze—gave rise to at least one come-on letter.) “The narrators are overthinking, and the overthinking tends to be funny, but the overthinking tends to be rooted in strong feeling,” Lorin Stein, who worked with her on two later books at FSG and is now the editor of The Paris Review, says. “You have the sense of characters who have a strong motivation to do something absurd and unproductive.”

“I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators,” Davis said. “I’ll see a kind of mousy, earnest person at a reading, a woman with limp, long, dark hair, kind of very woebegone and sincere.” Some of her narrators, she thinks, are desperate to be understood. “That’s why they go into too much detail,” she said. “ ‘In case you didn’t quite get it, let me explain further.’ ”

When Davis was younger, the obsessions of her narrators tended to be amorous; now they are philosophical. “The Two Davises and the Rug,” in the new collection, is the story of two people named Davis, who “were not married to each other and they were not related by blood.” They are kindred nonetheless: “They were both indecisive people, or rather, they could be very decisive about some things, important things, or things to do with their work, but they could be very indecisive about smaller things, and change their minds from one day to the next, over and over again, being completely decided in favor of something one day and then completely decided against the same thing the next day.”

In the story, “this Davis” decides to sell a red-white-and-black wool rug at a yard sale to benefit a good cause. The rug has been lying in her son’s room, but her son doesn’t live at home anymore. At the yard sale, “the other Davis” considers buying it but doesn’t. By the time he has decided that he wants the rug, this Davis has decided to keep it. For the next twelve hundred words, this Davis worries extravagantly: should she, who had not really valued the rug until someone else desired it, keep it, or should she let the other Davis, whose house is “clean and tidy and thoughtfully arranged,” have it? Which one of them deserves it?

Davis did the same thing with a rug a few years ago, after Theo, her son with Cote, went away to college. “With that story, I’m not leaving out anything relevant,” she says. “But the obsessive quality is exaggerated. A lot is true, the ins and outs of reasoning, but a lot of normal life went on the same. In the story, you get the impression that the rug was the only thing happening. In real life, it’s just one strand. It’s, O.K., let’s see what happens if this rug and this dilemma becomes everything.”

For a contemplative, Davis is remarkably social. When Daniel was a baby, she joined a softball team; later, when Theo was young, she took a line-dancing class. She escapes herself, and the house, given half an opportunity—to collect stories for an oral history of the village, to sit on a town zoning board. “I don’t go into it thinking I need material,” she says. “I follow my interests pretty—I don’t like the word ‘intuitively.’ I follow them in a kind of natural way, without questioning them too much. Alan tries to be the brake on my impulses.”

Cote’s reservations have not stopped Davis from running for a seat on the governing board of her village. One snowy Saturday morning in late January, she had plans to go door to door collecting signatures with “the other Davis,” whose name is Bill, and who was running for reëlection. For her nominating petition, she needed signatures from five per cent of the previous election’s voters, which amounted to two or three people. (The village has a population of five hundred and seventy-one.) The mayor told her they didn’t really pay attention to Democrat or Republican, and suggested she make up her own affiliation, so she is running as a member of the Schoolhouse Party. “I’m interested to see on a small scale how people get along or don’t get along,” she said.

The temperature was ten degrees. Davis got a clipboard and a notebook and put on her winter coat. She was excited. “But they’re all people you know,” Cote said. When Bill Davis arrived, they drove half a mile down the road, to Helen and John Mullaly’s house. John, once a teacher at Davis and Cote’s schoolhouse, had recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday. Helen, a former head nurse, was in her late eighties. The Davises stayed for more than an hour, listening to their stories, in an overheated dining room crowded with clocks and photographs and figurines. Twice, John showed them a picture, cut from a newspaper, of Davos, Switzerland, where he had been during the Second World War. “Cleared the summit, met the Pope, pushed back the Germans,” he said. When Helen mentioned that the house had been owned by a doctor, who kept a log which she had found in the attic, Lydia’s eyes shone. The different clocks ticked out of time.

Later, Davis said, “I’m kind of always working, in a sense. Sitting and talking to my neighbors, I’m not really working, but I’m always sort of alert to things.” Two things had struck her particularly: the objects in the dining room, and Helen’s remark, as they left, that she loved driving in snowstorms the way some people love skiing—the opposite of a cliché about an old lady. (Davis, unexpectedly, plays tin whistle and Ping-Pong, and several years ago publicly sang scenes from “The Magic Flute” dressed as a witch, in a cast made up mostly of teen-agers.) “I’m not bored,” Davis said. “I don’t like the high-powered literary life. I’d rather sit and listen to Helen and John and their stories than be at a cocktail party in New York.”

On their rounds, the two Davises had stopped in at Bill’s place, a white clapboard house with a single dormer window. “See how clean and nice it is?” Lydia said, entering a dining room with an open fireplace and a Shaker rake on the wall. Susan Shapiro, Bill’s wife, was inside. Naturally, the rug came up for discussion. “Where would it have gone?” Lydia asked. “We had picked out a spot in Mark’s room,” Bill said. “Now I feel guilty!” she said. The rug was still upstairs in her house, in Theo’s rarely used bedroom.

Both Davises asked Shapiro for her signature. Shapiro looked at them wryly and said, “The Two Davises and the Village Board.”

Evasion is the shadow side of overwrought explanation: dwelling on minutiae can mask a problem of unspeakable magnitude. In “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” when Davis objects to the company’s use of the portmanteau word “cremains” in reference to her father—before his death, the company had called him her “loved one”—distress over vocabulary stands in for mortal rage. What is left out gives the shape to what remains. Fictionalizing real events, Davis says, has to do with the selection of material, in the way of a teen-ager recounting to her mother how an evening was spent: “We went over to Joan’s house and hung out and listened to music, and then we went to McDonald’s.” Not the part about the vodka in the orange juice, not the part about the making out. Not a lie, just a different story.

For the most part, Davis leaves her children out of it. They represent a grammar problem in “A Double Negative”: “At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.” In “Selfish,” which Davis calls “a tongue-in-cheek monologue about parenting that’s less painful,” her children, unnamed and featureless, are faint but pervasive, stubborn as ghosts. “The useful thing about being a selfish person is that when your children get hurt you don’t mind so much because you yourself are all right,” she writes. Difficulty arises from not being quite selfish enough:

If you are just a little selfish, you take some trouble over them, you pay some attention to them, they have clean clothes most of the time, a fresh haircut fairly often, though not all the supplies they need for school, or not when they need them; you enjoy them, you laugh at their jokes, though you have little patience when they are naughty, they annoy you when you have work to do, and when they are very naughty you become very angry; you understand some of what they should have, in their lives, you know some of what they are doing, with their friends, you ask questions, though not very many, and not beyond a certain point, because there is so little time; then the trouble begins and you don’t notice signs of it because you are so busy; they steal, and you wonder how that thing came into the house; they show you what they have stolen, and when you ask questions, they lie; when they lie, you believe them, every time, because they seem so candid and it would take so long to find out the truth.
Incomplete selfishness, like a vaccination that doesn’t take, cannot protect against suffering. The only foolproof approach is to be totally selfish, to the point of being “privately relieved, glad, even delighted, that it isn’t happening to you.” In an e-mail, Davis wrote to me, “The narrator takes a pose. Or I take a pose through a confident narrator—in the beginning. Then—as so often happens in actual conversation—once one begins discussing a situation in detail, reliving it, one’s emotions change, one’s relation to the material changes. And that’s what happens in the story. When the narrator goes into detail, about the stealing and the lying, then she loses some of that confidence. She ends up pushing the difficult material away, saying, Don’t let it get near me.”

That story, with its shifting sense of culpability, is the closest Davis comes to describing her struggles with Daniel. As a teen-ager, he started going to clubs in New York City and became deeply involved with drugs. In 1996, when he was eighteen, he was present in the apartment when a dealer named Andre Melendez was murdered by Michael Alig, a former club promoter, and his roommate, Robert Riggs. Auster was given three thousand dollars of Melendez’s money in exchange for his silence, and later pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and served a five-year probation. A decade ago, Hustvedt published a best-selling novel, “What I Loved,” which reimagines the events with all the obliquity of an episode of “Law & Order.” The story features a troubled boy whose mother, a poet, produces work that is “scrupulous, concise, and invested with the comedy inherent in distance.” Hustvedt describes the poet herself as “all boarded up and shut down like a condemned house.”

Lifting from life, Davis is cautious. She tends to ask her friends for permission before including them in stories. “I don’t really want to offend people, so I try to avoid it,” she said. “It’s a shock to see yourself depicted in someone’s writing, even if it’s not particularly negative. It’s a matter of being taken away and used.” Her mechanisms can be subtle, though—a change of gender, or of name, or less. Mitch Sisskind recalled being in a bookstore, leafing through a literary journal. “I started reading this story and saw that one of the characters was me, by name,” he said. “I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never known anyone else that did that. I was flattered, but I was surprised.” She had referred to him as Mitchell, which no one does, thinking that it would disguise his identity.

A few years ago, when Harper’s was preparing to publish “Varieties of Disturbance,” a story about Davis’s mother, who was then still alive, Davis asked Daniel’s advice. (He lives in Florida and works at a performance space.) He suggested a small cut to spare his grandmother’s feelings. When the piece was collected in a book of the same name (a finalist for the National Book Award), she had died, and Davis restored the damning phrase, also at his suggestion.

“Hurting children is where I would draw the line,” Davis told me one evening, sitting in the kitchen with Cote. “A husband—you can hurt a husband. He does have to O.K. everything.” She turned to Cote. “You veto. But of course it’s not really fair to him, because then he’s called on to be gentlemanly.”

“There’s certain private stuff I don’t think is relevant,” Cote said.

“You’ve put up with it.”

“I was generous.”

“He’d have to think it’s a good piece of writing,” she said. “But the children are off limits.”

In her twenties, in Paris, Davis got about two-thirds of the way through “Swann’s Way,” in French, carefully writing down vocabulary and making notes. For the next thirty years, she earned a living mostly through translating. In a talk on the subject, she described her body of work as “books of all degrees of excellence and non-excellence, of interest and no interest . . . including a sentimental biography of Marie Curie, various histories of Chinese politics, art catalogues, the strange novels of Pierre Jean Jouve, a volume of travel essays by Michel Butor, and several books of fiction and literary philosophy by Maurice Blanchot.”

In 1997, Davis agreed to translate “Swann’s Way” for a new edition of “In Search of Lost Time.” She had never read the version by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, whose enhanced Edwardian style may be the reason most readers in English flag after a volume or two, and she didn’t read it then. She started working through the French, page by page, not skipping ahead to see what came next. “Just the way I wouldn’t write anything, even an e-mail, if it wasn’t decently written, the translation has to be good right away,” she told me. “I write it quickly but well, so that some of the time I would feel like a sieve or funnel, or maybe ‘pipeline’ is a better word.”

When she finished her draft, she looked carefully at the previous translations, particularly Scott Moncrieff’s. “Proust is plainer in his language and more straightforward and in a way more contemporary than the translation,” she says. “My aim was to stay very close.” The response to what one critic called Davis’s “sans-serif version,” published in 2003, was reserved: some reviewers felt that her accuracy—which kept intact word order and punctuation, and often preferred an obscure cognate to a flashier English rendering—came at the expense of felicity. The Times, however, praised her “fine rigor and exactitude.”

The book’s success is as important to Davis as that of any of her fictions. “I’m more jealous, almost, of my translations,” she says. “I really want my Proust to take the place of the Scott Moncrieff, because I think it’s closer.”

Davis’s downstairs office has rose-pink floor-length curtains, a space heater, and a cat. Small shelves are filled with books—“Studies in Lowland Scots,” “Famous Dogs in Fiction”—relevant to “Bob, Son of Battle,” a children’s book, published in 1898, that she read as a child and is now “translating” from tricky Victorian English into language a present-day Brearley girl could manage. Her desk is two file cabinets with a board laid across the top. Above it, on a bulletin board, is a homemade family tree that traces her connections to an ancestor whose description of life in a nineteenth-century New England village she has fashioned into verse. A photocopied page from an old notebook serves as another kind of genealogy, some two hundred years’ worth of fiction writers, from Swift to Hemingway. “I found it and thought, Well, that’s worth looking at every now and again,” she said. “I don’t really have the picture in my head. I probably did it when I was quite young. I was always trying to learn and remember.”

It is not only the act of writing that forces Davis to write fiction; reading is a danger, too. “I don’t need to go to other writers to get excited,” she says. “The problem is almost the opposite. Certain kinds of writing will give me too many ideas. I have to keep stopping and reacting.” She recently got a collection of lectures Roland Barthes gave at the Sorbonne. “I found that there were so many interesting ideas in one paragraph that I almost couldn’t read it.”

E-mail can be equally threatening. In the office, Davis opened up her account to a folder of messages from the Listserv at Bard College, where she used to teach occasionally and where Cote was on the faculty for three decades. Material, practically ready-made. Here was a message from a woman named Lisa Hedges, wondering if anyone had seen her glasses. “I loved her name,” Davis said. “This is what it started as: ‘Round, faux tortoiseshell glasses, bifocal lenses, lost sometime Friday, between the Nursery School, B Village, A Sacred Space. It would be great if somebody has found them and they aren’t in a place covered in a foot of snow!’ ”

What it became:

Personal Announcement
Woman named Shrubbs
Has lost faux tortoiseshell eyeglasses

Where?
Somewhere between nursery school
and sacred space

They are possibly
covered by snow.
“This is very vestigial,” Davis said. “Or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.” Sometimes the longer something sits, the more finished it seems. A little while later, she said, “When you’re spying, when you’re looking, when you’re on the alert for a story, part of it is seeing the thing in isolation, apart from the normalizing context.”

Found objects emerge frequently as source and as finished work. (“An Example of the Continuing Past Tense in a Hotel Room”: “Your housekeeper has been Shelly.”) Davis sees this repurposing as thrift. She says, “My grandmother, my mother, and me—we were always making do and saving, very economical. I like the idea that the writing would belong to that practical tradition.”

Even now, much of Davis’s writing has its first life in obscure literary magazines. All the editors have to do is ask. If she likes the cover letter, and feels she can trust them, she’ll send work. In small magazines she feels free to experiment. “There’s an opposition between what’s good for my career and what’s good for my writing,” she said, walking back into the kitchen, where Cote was waiting for his lunch. “What’s good for my writing is these little places.”

“You’re building your fan base,” Cote said.

“I don’t think I’d ever think of it as ‘building my fan base.’ I would never sit back and do that intentionally.”

“Then they go on YouTube and start talking about it,” Cote said.

“I really like being read by young people,” Davis said. “I love it that friends of my son Theo, who is twenty-five, will say, ‘Is your mother Lydia Davis? I love her work. ’ ”

In 2001, Davis published a book with McSweeney’s, after Dave Eggers wrote her a fan letter. New, young readers found in her work an idiosyncratic approach to the problem of storytelling, something handmade or unmade, each story like a cool thing from an old junk shop. The title piece—“Samuel Johnson Is Indignant:”—was one line long: “that Scotland has so few trees.” (Humor, language, emotion.) “That’s such a radical act and so liberating to put that on a page and call it finished,” Eggers told me. “For those of us who are attracted to people who make room for new ways of defining a short story or who defy categorization at all, she was a real hero.”

By the time FSG published her “Collected,” in 2009, American fiction had more fully accommodated itself to the insubstantial. Everything is too hard to understand until it isn’t. For the first time, Davis’s writing was acknowledged as belonging to an American tradition. Jonathan Galassi, the president and publisher of FSG, says, “People caught up with her.”

“I have to guard against the tendency—I could make anything into a story,” Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to her literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. “I was trying just to write instructions, you know, ‘My notebooks should go here,’ ‘You should look through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,’ ” she said. “But it began to get too elaborate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn’t a straightforward document any more. I didn’t really want it to be a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor.” She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. ♦

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an abstract painter, in a tiny village in Rensselaer County, New York. Cote is large, warm, taciturn, and wears a mustache. Their house is a converted elementary school, built in 1930 by the W.P.A.: neo-Georgian, brick, with Boston ivy and fifteen-foot ceilings. He paints in the gymnasium; the bathtub is in the teachers’ lounge. On the fence outside, a sign made from found sticks spells “L’Ecole.”

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. “I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings, and I don’t like to knock other writers as a matter of principle,” she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month’s selection for her book club—local women, wine, family talk—was full of mixed metaphors. “I’ve gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake,” she said. “A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something’s wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is.” She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. “Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor,” she said. She read another: “ ‘A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.’ I thought about that. You’d think he could get away with it, but he can’t, because ‘stuffed’ is a verb that comes from material. It’s soft, so it’s a problem to stuff it with something hard.” There were sentences about camouflaging with a veneer, and girding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. “Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison,” she said.

But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author’s photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. “I just write down one sentence,” she said. “This would be me assuming a kind of yenta voice: ‘Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.’ ” She smiled. “It’s me feeling a little sorry that I’m writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so friendly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don’t look so innocent.”

In the summer of 1973, when Davis was twenty-six, she and her boyfriend Paul Auster went to live in the South of France, as caretakers of an eighteenth-century stone farmhouse with a red tile roof and an enclosed garden. They had been in Paris for two years already, translating French novels and poems and art catalogues and film scripts—sometimes the pay amounted to five dollars a page—and working assiduously on their own writing.

At Barnard, where Davis went to college, she had been a distracted student, occasionally accompanying Auster to his classes at Columbia rather than attending her own. (They met in the spring of their freshman year.) They played touch football and one-on-one basketball. Davis had long honey-colored hair and a dreamy affect. “She had pheromones, and men and boys followed her around panting,” an old friend said.

Auster was sunken-eyed and soulful, with a cocked eyebrow, or, as he puts it, “a dark-haired Jewish boy from New Jersey with a public-school education.” Davis had gone to Brearley, and then to Putney, a boarding school with farm work, in Vermont. Her father, Robert Gorham Davis, taught English at Columbia—modern short stories—and her mother, Hope Hale Davis, wrote fiction for women’s magazines and occasionally for The New Yorker. First they were Communists, then liberals (he was questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities); always they were avid party-givers. Lionel Trilling came to the apartment, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Edward Said. In memoirs, Auster portrays himself as helplessly impressed by Davis, loving more than he was loved. He writes, “For the most part you were the pursuer, and she alternated between resisting your advances and wanting to be caught.” Among their friends—“arcane, avant-garde intellectuals,” Mitch Sisskind, who was one of them, said—Davis was the eccentric. “We were all reading Kafka,” he told me. “She read Kafka, too—and you can see the influence—but she also read ‘The Making of a Surgeon.’ ”

In the country, Auster wrote poems; Davis struggled to write traditional short stories, of the kind her parents admired. (Later, they would say, Why don’t you write about your travels or something more cheerful?) She copied out lines of Beckett to understand how the sentences functioned, and tacked them to the wall. The stories, however, were too masterly to imitate. She read mysteries, weighed herself, threw pebbles in an urn. She tried to make herself stay at her desk till lunch. Auster, on the other hand, could easily work all day.

At the end of August, Davis happened to read a strange little book of very short stories by the poet Russell Edson. Here was a contemporary, an American, whose stories, unlike those of her literary heroes, sometimes failed. Within days, she had started writing strange little stories of her own. She set a goal, two per day. “I didn’t think too hard about what I was going to do,” she told me. “I just snatched an idea from the air, I just went with it, and I didn’t think about what the meaning was of the story, and I still don’t like to do that.” She started to enjoy herself. A month after reading Edson, she wrote “The Thirteenth Woman,” a hundred-and-thirty-eight-word story in two sentences, which she sees as “the first seminal story.” The same day, she wrote “The Transformation,” a page-long fable about a woman who turns into a stone. She worked in a plain cardboard notebook, with a studied hand. “Must conquer this afternoon malaise,” one late-September entry starts, followed by six stories. “She would get an idea, three or four sentences or a paragraph, and she would write it clean off the top of her head and that would be it,” Auster told me. “The stuff she labored over never turned out as successfully.”

Anything Davis wrote might turn, unbidden, into fiction. In her notebook, she composed a letter to her friend Jack LeVert (part of their Kafka-reading, touch-football-playing crowd), who was planning to visit them at the farmhouse:

If you were to look in on us, you would be amazed at the elegance in which we live. You would see us sweep into the driveway in a pale green station wagon, casually pat our thoroughbreds as we entered our restored, pre-revolutionary home with its thick beams and red tiled floors. . . . You would see us during the day with dreamy looks in our eyes writing poetry and little dibs and dabs of nothing, as though we had been born to idleness. Perhaps I would invite you to go sketching and we would take the folding chairs and our pads of sketch paper. Perhaps later we would listen to an opera from where we lounged beside the bright medieval fireplace, our Labradors sleeping at our feet on their deerskin rug. But as dinnertime approached you would notice that we grew nervous. At first it would be hardly perceptible, the smallest haunted look in our eyes, a dark shadow on our faces. You would intercept embarrassed glances. I would blush suddenly and turn pale and when dinner arrived, though the pottery were of the finest quality, hand turned, and the mats from Japan and the napkins from India, the beans would stick in your throat, the carrots would break the tines of your fork and you would recognize the taste of cat. How much more painful is poverty for the caretakers.

“The new piece of paper you like to keep on your desk came in.”
BUY OR LICENSE »
The hardship was romantic, self-imposed. “We both came from families that had enough money to rescue us,” Davis said. “This was all our own choice, really. It was for our so-called art.” When they finally ran out of money, they returned to New York, nine dollars between them. Davis’s father helped get them an apartment on Riverside Drive, and they were married there in the fall of 1974. (Auster, in “Winter Journal,” a memoir: “Given the frequent changes of heart that had afflicted the two of you from the beginning, the constant comings and goings, the affairs with other people, the breakups and makeups that followed one another as regularly as the changing of the seasons, the thought that either one of you should have considered marriage at this point now strikes you as an act of delusional folly.” Davis: “I read about some town in Northern California, where the pastor at the church—or is it the law?—said you’re not allowed to get married without three or four visits to the pastoral counselor ahead of time to discuss your expectations or habits or needs. It’s worked out very well. People don’t get divorced.”) Davis briefly studied to become a speech therapist. Instead, she and Auster moved to Berkeley and published a collection of her pieces, “The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories,” in an edition of five hundred. The poets in their circle loved it.

The following year, expecting a child, they bought an old house in Dutchess County—a cursed house, according to Auster, who found “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in a box on the back porch and a dried-up crow, like an omen, behind a chest of drawers. Their son, Daniel, was born in 1977, and when he was eighteen months old they separated. Auster moved back to the city, and, after they divorced, married the novelist Siri Hustvedt. Eventually, Davis moved back, too, and lived a few blocks from them in Brooklyn to make it easier for Daniel to go back and forth. Davis worked as a typesetter at a small Brooklyn newspaper; the checks the paper wrote her bounced.

The question of what constitutes a story is troublesome. E. M. Forster wrote, “ ‘The king died and then the queen died’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.” Davis’s stories have very little in the way of plot; sometimes people get indignant and ask her why she doesn’t call them poems or fragments. (She prefers the deeper associations of the word “story.”) Like thoughts, her pieces are reiterative; she sooner makes chronology a subject than a formal device. She says her work arises from a conjunction of humor, language, and emotional difficulty. Sometimes that means high culture, low culture, and animals; that is, a contradiction, plus the life force. Usually, she sets out to answer a single question and tries to stop between incomprehensibility (too little detail) and boredom (too much). Her longer pieces slacken and drift, but at fifteen hundred words the line is taut. As one of her narrators says, “You can’t tell everyone the truth all the time, and you certainly can’t tell anyone the whole truth, ever, because it would take too long.” Even poets find her concentration bracing. Matthew Zapruder, a poet and editor who keeps Davis’s “Collected Stories” on his shelf and turns to it whenever he needs a jolt, says, “It almost feels like a challenge to poetry. She can do this, why can’t we?”

“By fiction now I just mean a construct that’s a little different from reality,” Davis told me. “One aspect of that is a narrative voice that’s a little artificial, not quite my own.” As a person, Davis is tactful if particular; the speakers of her stories tend to be grand and hysterical, flies in bottles, frustrated by obstacles they can’t see. The woman who goes over and over a sequence of events, trying to establish whether her lover is being unfaithful; the man who calculates the cost per hour of a ten-day affair. (Those two examples come from “Break It Down,” her first full-length book, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1986. That author photo—her frank gaze—gave rise to at least one come-on letter.) “The narrators are overthinking, and the overthinking tends to be funny, but the overthinking tends to be rooted in strong feeling,” Lorin Stein, who worked with her on two later books at FSG and is now the editor of The Paris Review, says. “You have the sense of characters who have a strong motivation to do something absurd and unproductive.”

“I see people sometimes who remind me of my narrators,” Davis said. “I’ll see a kind of mousy, earnest person at a reading, a woman with limp, long, dark hair, kind of very woebegone and sincere.” Some of her narrators, she thinks, are desperate to be understood. “That’s why they go into too much detail,” she said. “ ‘In case you didn’t quite get it, let me explain further.’ ”

When Davis was younger, the obsessions of her narrators tended to be amorous; now they are philosophical. “The Two Davises and the Rug,” in the new collection, is the story of two people named Davis, who “were not married to each other and they were not related by blood.” They are kindred nonetheless: “They were both indecisive people, or rather, they could be very decisive about some things, important things, or things to do with their work, but they could be very indecisive about smaller things, and change their minds from one day to the next, over and over again, being completely decided in favor of something one day and then completely decided against the same thing the next day.”

In the story, “this Davis” decides to sell a red-white-and-black wool rug at a yard sale to benefit a good cause. The rug has been lying in her son’s room, but her son doesn’t live at home anymore. At the yard sale, “the other Davis” considers buying it but doesn’t. By the time he has decided that he wants the rug, this Davis has decided to keep it. For the next twelve hundred words, this Davis worries extravagantly: should she, who had not really valued the rug until someone else desired it, keep it, or should she let the other Davis, whose house is “clean and tidy and thoughtfully arranged,” have it? Which one of them deserves it?

Davis did the same thing with a rug a few years ago, after Theo, her son with Cote, went away to college. “With that story, I’m not leaving out anything relevant,” she says. “But the obsessive quality is exaggerated. A lot is true, the ins and outs of reasoning, but a lot of normal life went on the same. In the story, you get the impression that the rug was the only thing happening. In real life, it’s just one strand. It’s, O.K., let’s see what happens if this rug and this dilemma becomes everything.”

For a contemplative, Davis is remarkably social. When Daniel was a baby, she joined a softball team; later, when Theo was young, she took a line-dancing class. She escapes herself, and the house, given half an opportunity—to collect stories for an oral history of the village, to sit on a town zoning board. “I don’t go into it thinking I need material,” she says. “I follow my interests pretty—I don’t like the word ‘intuitively.’ I follow them in a kind of natural way, without questioning them too much. Alan tries to be the brake on my impulses.”

Cote’s reservations have not stopped Davis from running for a seat on the governing board of her village. One snowy Saturday morning in late January, she had plans to go door to door collecting signatures with “the other Davis,” whose name is Bill, and who was running for reëlection. For her nominating petition, she needed signatures from five per cent of the previous election’s voters, which amounted to two or three people. (The village has a population of five hundred and seventy-one.) The mayor told her they didn’t really pay attention to Democrat or Republican, and suggested she make up her own affiliation, so she is running as a member of the Schoolhouse Party. “I’m interested to see on a small scale how people get along or don’t get along,” she said.

The temperature was ten degrees. Davis got a clipboard and a notebook and put on her winter coat. She was excited. “But they’re all people you know,” Cote said. When Bill Davis arrived, they drove half a mile down the road, to Helen and John Mullaly’s house. John, once a teacher at Davis and Cote’s schoolhouse, had recently celebrated his ninety-first birthday. Helen, a former head nurse, was in her late eighties. The Davises stayed for more than an hour, listening to their stories, in an overheated dining room crowded with clocks and photographs and figurines. Twice, John showed them a picture, cut from a newspaper, of Davos, Switzerland, where he had been during the Second World War. “Cleared the summit, met the Pope, pushed back the Germans,” he said. When Helen mentioned that the house had been owned by a doctor, who kept a log which she had found in the attic, Lydia’s eyes shone. The different clocks ticked out of time.

Later, Davis said, “I’m kind of always working, in a sense. Sitting and talking to my neighbors, I’m not really working, but I’m always sort of alert to things.” Two things had struck her particularly: the objects in the dining room, and Helen’s remark, as they left, that she loved driving in snowstorms the way some people love skiing—the opposite of a cliché about an old lady. (Davis, unexpectedly, plays tin whistle and Ping-Pong, and several years ago publicly sang scenes from “The Magic Flute” dressed as a witch, in a cast made up mostly of teen-agers.) “I’m not bored,” Davis said. “I don’t like the high-powered literary life. I’d rather sit and listen to Helen and John and their stories than be at a cocktail party in New York.”

On their rounds, the two Davises had stopped in at Bill’s place, a white clapboard house with a single dormer window. “See how clean and nice it is?” Lydia said, entering a dining room with an open fireplace and a Shaker rake on the wall. Susan Shapiro, Bill’s wife, was inside. Naturally, the rug came up for discussion. “Where would it have gone?” Lydia asked. “We had picked out a spot in Mark’s room,” Bill said. “Now I feel guilty!” she said. The rug was still upstairs in her house, in Theo’s rarely used bedroom.

Both Davises asked Shapiro for her signature. Shapiro looked at them wryly and said, “The Two Davises and the Village Board.”

Evasion is the shadow side of overwrought explanation: dwelling on minutiae can mask a problem of unspeakable magnitude. In “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” when Davis objects to the company’s use of the portmanteau word “cremains” in reference to her father—before his death, the company had called him her “loved one”—distress over vocabulary stands in for mortal rage. What is left out gives the shape to what remains. Fictionalizing real events, Davis says, has to do with the selection of material, in the way of a teen-ager recounting to her mother how an evening was spent: “We went over to Joan’s house and hung out and listened to music, and then we went to McDonald’s.” Not the part about the vodka in the orange juice, not the part about the making out. Not a lie, just a different story.

For the most part, Davis leaves her children out of it. They represent a grammar problem in “A Double Negative”: “At a certain point in her life, she realizes it is not so much that she wants to have a child as that she does not want not to have a child, or not to have had a child.” In “Selfish,” which Davis calls “a tongue-in-cheek monologue about parenting that’s less painful,” her children, unnamed and featureless, are faint but pervasive, stubborn as ghosts. “The useful thing about being a selfish person is that when your children get hurt you don’t mind so much because you yourself are all right,” she writes. Difficulty arises from not being quite selfish enough:

If you are just a little selfish, you take some trouble over them, you pay some attention to them, they have clean clothes most of the time, a fresh haircut fairly often, though not all the supplies they need for school, or not when they need them; you enjoy them, you laugh at their jokes, though you have little patience when they are naughty, they annoy you when you have work to do, and when they are very naughty you become very angry; you understand some of what they should have, in their lives, you know some of what they are doing, with their friends, you ask questions, though not very many, and not beyond a certain point, because there is so little time; then the trouble begins and you don’t notice signs of it because you are so busy; they steal, and you wonder how that thing came into the house; they show you what they have stolen, and when you ask questions, they lie; when they lie, you believe them, every time, because they seem so candid and it would take so long to find out the truth.
Incomplete selfishness, like a vaccination that doesn’t take, cannot protect against suffering. The only foolproof approach is to be totally selfish, to the point of being “privately relieved, glad, even delighted, that it isn’t happening to you.” In an e-mail, Davis wrote to me, “The narrator takes a pose. Or I take a pose through a confident narrator—in the beginning. Then—as so often happens in actual conversation—once one begins discussing a situation in detail, reliving it, one’s emotions change, one’s relation to the material changes. And that’s what happens in the story. When the narrator goes into detail, about the stealing and the lying, then she loses some of that confidence. She ends up pushing the difficult material away, saying, Don’t let it get near me.”

That story, with its shifting sense of culpability, is the closest Davis comes to describing her struggles with Daniel. As a teen-ager, he started going to clubs in New York City and became deeply involved with drugs. In 1996, when he was eighteen, he was present in the apartment when a dealer named Andre Melendez was murdered by Michael Alig, a former club promoter, and his roommate, Robert Riggs. Auster was given three thousand dollars of Melendez’s money in exchange for his silence, and later pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and served a five-year probation. A decade ago, Hustvedt published a best-selling novel, “What I Loved,” which reimagines the events with all the obliquity of an episode of “Law & Order.” The story features a troubled boy whose mother, a poet, produces work that is “scrupulous, concise, and invested with the comedy inherent in distance.” Hustvedt describes the poet herself as “all boarded up and shut down like a condemned house.”

Lifting from life, Davis is cautious. She tends to ask her friends for permission before including them in stories. “I don’t really want to offend people, so I try to avoid it,” she said. “It’s a shock to see yourself depicted in someone’s writing, even if it’s not particularly negative. It’s a matter of being taken away and used.” Her mechanisms can be subtle, though—a change of gender, or of name, or less. Mitch Sisskind recalled being in a bookstore, leafing through a literary journal. “I started reading this story and saw that one of the characters was me, by name,” he said. “I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never known anyone else that did that. I was flattered, but I was surprised.” She had referred to him as Mitchell, which no one does, thinking that it would disguise his identity.

A few years ago, when Harper’s was preparing to publish “Varieties of Disturbance,” a story about Davis’s mother, who was then still alive, Davis asked Daniel’s advice. (He lives in Florida and works at a performance space.) He suggested a small cut to spare his grandmother’s feelings. When the piece was collected in a book of the same name (a finalist for the National Book Award), she had died, and Davis restored the damning phrase, also at his suggestion.

“Hurting children is where I would draw the line,” Davis told me one evening, sitting in the kitchen with Cote. “A husband—you can hurt a husband. He does have to O.K. everything.” She turned to Cote. “You veto. But of course it’s not really fair to him, because then he’s called on to be gentlemanly.”

“There’s certain private stuff I don’t think is relevant,” Cote said.

“You’ve put up with it.”

“I was generous.”

“He’d have to think it’s a good piece of writing,” she said. “But the children are off limits.”

In her twenties, in Paris, Davis got about two-thirds of the way through “Swann’s Way,” in French, carefully writing down vocabulary and making notes. For the next thirty years, she earned a living mostly through translating. In a talk on the subject, she described her body of work as “books of all degrees of excellence and non-excellence, of interest and no interest . . . including a sentimental biography of Marie Curie, various histories of Chinese politics, art catalogues, the strange novels of Pierre Jean Jouve, a volume of travel essays by Michel Butor, and several books of fiction and literary philosophy by Maurice Blanchot.”

In 1997, Davis agreed to translate “Swann’s Way” for a new edition of “In Search of Lost Time.” She had never read the version by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, whose enhanced Edwardian style may be the reason most readers in English flag after a volume or two, and she didn’t read it then. She started working through the French, page by page, not skipping ahead to see what came next. “Just the way I wouldn’t write anything, even an e-mail, if it wasn’t decently written, the translation has to be good right away,” she told me. “I write it quickly but well, so that some of the time I would feel like a sieve or funnel, or maybe ‘pipeline’ is a better word.”

When she finished her draft, she looked carefully at the previous translations, particularly Scott Moncrieff’s. “Proust is plainer in his language and more straightforward and in a way more contemporary than the translation,” she says. “My aim was to stay very close.” The response to what one critic called Davis’s “sans-serif version,” published in 2003, was reserved: some reviewers felt that her accuracy—which kept intact word order and punctuation, and often preferred an obscure cognate to a flashier English rendering—came at the expense of felicity. The Times, however, praised her “fine rigor and exactitude.”

The book’s success is as important to Davis as that of any of her fictions. “I’m more jealous, almost, of my translations,” she says. “I really want my Proust to take the place of the Scott Moncrieff, because I think it’s closer.”

Davis’s downstairs office has rose-pink floor-length curtains, a space heater, and a cat. Small shelves are filled with books—“Studies in Lowland Scots,” “Famous Dogs in Fiction”—relevant to “Bob, Son of Battle,” a children’s book, published in 1898, that she read as a child and is now “translating” from tricky Victorian English into language a present-day Brearley girl could manage. Her desk is two file cabinets with a board laid across the top. Above it, on a bulletin board, is a homemade family tree that traces her connections to an ancestor whose description of life in a nineteenth-century New England village she has fashioned into verse. A photocopied page from an old notebook serves as another kind of genealogy, some two hundred years’ worth of fiction writers, from Swift to Hemingway. “I found it and thought, Well, that’s worth looking at every now and again,” she said. “I don’t really have the picture in my head. I probably did it when I was quite young. I was always trying to learn and remember.”

It is not only the act of writing that forces Davis to write fiction; reading is a danger, too. “I don’t need to go to other writers to get excited,” she says. “The problem is almost the opposite. Certain kinds of writing will give me too many ideas. I have to keep stopping and reacting.” She recently got a collection of lectures Roland Barthes gave at the Sorbonne. “I found that there were so many interesting ideas in one paragraph that I almost couldn’t read it.”

E-mail can be equally threatening. In the office, Davis opened up her account to a folder of messages from the Listserv at Bard College, where she used to teach occasionally and where Cote was on the faculty for three decades. Material, practically ready-made. Here was a message from a woman named Lisa Hedges, wondering if anyone had seen her glasses. “I loved her name,” Davis said. “This is what it started as: ‘Round, faux tortoiseshell glasses, bifocal lenses, lost sometime Friday, between the Nursery School, B Village, A Sacred Space. It would be great if somebody has found them and they aren’t in a place covered in a foot of snow!’ ”

What it became:

Personal Announcement
Woman named Shrubbs
Has lost faux tortoiseshell eyeglasses

Where?
Somewhere between nursery school
and sacred space

They are possibly
covered by snow.
“This is very vestigial,” Davis said. “Or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. I kind of like it the way it is.” Sometimes the longer something sits, the more finished it seems. A little while later, she said, “When you’re spying, when you’re looking, when you’re on the alert for a story, part of it is seeing the thing in isolation, apart from the normalizing context.”

Found objects emerge frequently as source and as finished work. (“An Example of the Continuing Past Tense in a Hotel Room”: “Your housekeeper has been Shelly.”) Davis sees this repurposing as thrift. She says, “My grandmother, my mother, and me—we were always making do and saving, very economical. I like the idea that the writing would belong to that practical tradition.”

Even now, much of Davis’s writing has its first life in obscure literary magazines. All the editors have to do is ask. If she likes the cover letter, and feels she can trust them, she’ll send work. In small magazines she feels free to experiment. “There’s an opposition between what’s good for my career and what’s good for my writing,” she said, walking back into the kitchen, where Cote was waiting for his lunch. “What’s good for my writing is these little places.”

“You’re building your fan base,” Cote said.

“I don’t think I’d ever think of it as ‘building my fan base.’ I would never sit back and do that intentionally.”

“Then they go on YouTube and start talking about it,” Cote said.

“I really like being read by young people,” Davis said. “I love it that friends of my son Theo, who is twenty-five, will say, ‘Is your mother Lydia Davis? I love her work. ’ ”

In 2001, Davis published a book with McSweeney’s, after Dave Eggers wrote her a fan letter. New, young readers found in her work an idiosyncratic approach to the problem of storytelling, something handmade or unmade, each story like a cool thing from an old junk shop. The title piece—“Samuel Johnson Is Indignant:”—was one line long: “that Scotland has so few trees.” (Humor, language, emotion.) “That’s such a radical act and so liberating to put that on a page and call it finished,” Eggers told me. “For those of us who are attracted to people who make room for new ways of defining a short story or who defy categorization at all, she was a real hero.”

By the time FSG published her “Collected,” in 2009, American fiction had more fully accommodated itself to the insubstantial. Everything is too hard to understand until it isn’t. For the first time, Davis’s writing was acknowledged as belonging to an American tradition. Jonathan Galassi, the president and publisher of FSG, says, “People caught up with her.”

“I have to guard against the tendency—I could make anything into a story,” Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to her literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. “I was trying just to write instructions, you know, ‘My notebooks should go here,’ ‘You should look through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,’ ” she said. “But it began to get too elaborate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn’t a straightforward document any more. I didn’t really want it to be a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor.” She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. ♦

NameLong Story Short
EmailBY DANA GOODYEAR
Comments
CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY CHANG PARK.
Somewhere in the files of General Mills is a letter from the very-short-story writer Lydia Davis. In it, Davis, who is widely considered one of the most original minds in American fiction today, expresses dismay at the packaging of the frozen peas sold by the company’s subsidiary Cascadian Farm. The letter, like many things that Davis writes, had started out sincere and then turned weird. Details grew overly specific; a narrative, however spare, emerged. “The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green,” she wrote. “We have compared your depiction of peas to that of the other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. . . . We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.” Rather than address her complaint, the company sent her a coupon for Green Giant.

The story that resulted from her complaint, “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” is only a couple of hundred words long and appears in “Can’t and Won’t,” which comes out next month. “Can’t and Won’t” is Davis’s first collection since 2009, when her “Collected Stories” was published: some two hundred pieces, amounting to just seven hundred pages, thirty years’ worth of work. (Her novel, “The End of the Story,” was not included.) Before then, she had been known, if she was known, as “a writer’s writer’s writer”—dismissal by hyperbole. Some said her stories sounded like translations, vaguely alien. The “Collected” surprised people; taken together, her work—cerebral, witty, well built, homey, homely, sometimes vanishingly small—had heft. It was the kind of book that could be used, as one critic attested, to jack a car and change a flat. In May, Davis won the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Britain’s highest literary award for a noncitizen. Michael Silverblatt, the erudite host of the Los Angeles radio show “Bookworm,” says, “Literary people know that at the sentence level and the word level she’s the best there is.”

Davis is sixty-six, with chin-length once blond hair, pale lashes, and eyes the color of blue milk glass. Her eyeglasses are lined with pink, like a conch. She wears small earrings in flattering shades of blue, and the loose, dark clothing of a city shrink. She works from life, in the way that Samuel Beckett did—life’s interactions partway estranged from their contexts—with a notebook always secreted in her purse. Her subjects can be humble to the point of mundanity: lost socks, car trips, neighbors, small fights. (“He said she was disagreeing with him. She said no, that was not true, he was disagreeing with her.”) According to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, “She is the shorter Proust among us. She has the sensitivity to track the stuff that is so evanescent it flies right by the rest of us. But as it does so it leaves enough of a trace that when you read her you do it with a sense of recognition.”

Davis lives with her husband, Alan Cote, an