The Cost of Living
A Living Autobiography
A New York Times Notable Book of 2018
Longlisted for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
From the twice-Booker-shortlisted author comes a witty and audacious examination of writing and womanhood
"Life falls apart. We try to get a grip. We try to hold it together. And then we realize that we don't want to hold it together."
Crystalline, witty and audacious, The Cost of Living addresses itself to the dual experiences of writing and of womanhood, examining what is essential in each. Following the acclaimed Things I Don't Want to Know, which reflected deeply on the nature of gender politics and a life in letters, The Cost of Living returns to the same subject and to the same life, to find a writer in radical flux. If a woman dismantles her life, expands it and puts it back together in a new shape, how might she describe this new composition? "Words have to open the mind. When words close the mind you can be sure that someone has been reduced to nothingness."
In this elegiac second instalment of her "living autobiography", Deborah Levy considers what it means to live with value and meaning and pleasure. The Cost of Living is a vital and astonishing testimony, as distinctive, wide-ranging and original as Levy's acclaimed novels.
About this Author
DEBORAH LEVY is the author of six novels: Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography, The Unloved, Billy and Girl, Swimming Home and Hot Milk. Both Swimming Home and Hot Milk were shortlisted for 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. Levy has written for The Royal Shakespeare Company, and her pioneering theatre writing is collected in Levy:Plays 1. Levy was an AHRB Fellow at the Royal College of Art. The first volume of her memoir on writing, gender politics and philosophy is Things I Don't Want to Know.
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