His early work, often referred to as his realism period, featured stories in everyday settings with regular people interacting in realistic situations. The work most often used as an example of this early period involved a mom shopping for shoes for her son’s first day of school. As was typical of his early work, the story lacked any tension. The mother didn’t fret about how to pay for the shoes, the child didn’t have his heart set on a pair of shoes the mother wouldn’t buy, no store robbery while they were shopping, not even a shoe clerk who was secretly an alien; it was just an outing to shop for shoes, shoes were fitted and purchased, and the mother and son left with their parcel.
These stories continued interminably until a sudden shift into what has been described as hyper-realism, typified by the breakthrough story of a man taking one step, including painstaking detail of synapses, muscle, and bone providing the locomotion, the balance of the inner ear, with particular emphasis on the role of gravity as this poor sap is encased in the excruciating amber-like exposition.
From that point, his work quickly mutated, eventually focusing on his minimalist work, usually consisting of one repeated word, or, in his later work, single words.