1999
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What does it mean to be free - as an artist, a woman, a mother or daughter? And what is the price of that freedom?In this dazzling memoir, Deborah Levy confronts the essential questions of modern womanhood with humour, pragmatism, and profoundly resonant wisdom. Reflecting on the period when she wrote the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Hot Milk - when her mother was dying, her daughters were leaving home, her marriage was coming to an end - she is characteristically eloquent on the social expectations and surreal realities of daily life. And expanding far beyond these bounds, she describes a uniquely frank, wise and thrilling manifesto for female experience- embracing the exhilarating terror of freedom, seeking to understand what that freedom could mean and how it might feel.

 

Details

ISBN: 9780241977569
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Publication Date: 7 Feb 2019
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 19.8(H) x 12.9(L) x 1.3(W)
Weight (gm): 150

 

Reviews

Deborah Levy is a most generous writer. What is wonderful about this short, sensual, embattled memoir is that it is not only about the painful landmarks in her life - the end of a marriage , the death of a mother - it is about what it is to be alive. I can't think of any other writer aside from Virginia Woolf who writes better about the liminal, the domestic, the non-event, and what it is to be a woman... This is a little book about a big subject. It is about how to find a new way of living * Observer *
Extraordinary and beautiful, suffused with wit and razor sharp insights * Financial Times *
It is the story of every woman throughout history who has expended her love and labour on making a home that turns out to serve the needs of everyone except herself... A piece of work that is not so much a memoir as an eloquent manifesto for what Levy calls 'a new way of living' in the post-familial world * Guardian *
Ingenious, practical and dryly amused... This is a manifesto for a risky, radical kind of life, out of your depth but swimming all the same * New Statesman *

Wise, subtle and ironic, Levy is a brilliant writer... Each sentence is a small masterpiece of clarity and poise. That shed should be endowed with a blue plaque

* Telegraph *
A heady, absorbing read * Evening Standard *
This, from Deborah Levy, is exceptional. A memoir of life, art and separation. How to write when you're broke, have no writing space, are a parent. Also: crushed chickens, electric bikes, plumbing. Out in May and an early contender for one of the books of the year * Sinead Gleeson *

Both memoir and feminist manifesto, her writing focuses so sharply on what it means to be alive that she's given me much-needed clarity...Levy subtly informs us about what it is to be a woman.

* Vogue *

 

Author Biography

Deborah Levy is the author of seven novels- Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography, The Unloved, Billy and Girl, Swimming Home, Hot Milk and The Man Who Saw Everything. She has been shortlisted twice each for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Man Booker Prize. Her short story collection, Black Vodka, was nominated for the International Frank O'Connor Short Story Award and was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, as were her acclaimed dramatizations of Freud's iconic case studies, Dora and The Wolfman. She has also written for The Royal Shakespeare Company and her pioneering theatre writing is collected in Levy- Plays 1. Her work is widely translated.Deborah Levy is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is also the author of a formally innovative and emotionally daring trilogy of memoirs, a living autobiography on writing, gender politics and philosophy. The first two volumes, Things I Don't Want to Know and The Cost of Living, won the Prix Femina Etranger 2020. The final volume, Real Estate, will be published in Spring 2021.
The Cost of Living
1999

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