Deborah Levy

Photographer: Sheila Burnett

Be sure to enjoy language, experiment with ways of talking, be exuberant when you don’t feel like it because language can make your world a better place to live.

– from the story ‘A Better Way to Live’ in Deborah Levy’s Black Vodka: ten stories 

Deborah Levy is a British playwright, novelist and poet. She is the author of six novels, Beautiful Mutants (1986); Swallowing Geography (1993); The Unloved (1994); Billy & Girl (1996); and Swimming Home (2011), which was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize as well as the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize. Deborah is also the author of a collection of short stories, Black Vodka (2013), which was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC. Her latest novel, Hot Milk, was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

Praise for Deborah Levy

  • ‘Swimming Home is as sharp as a wasp sting . . . Witty and poignant, its pages melt away like an unsettling yet familiar dream.’ Sunday Times
  • ‘Deborah Levy has made something strange and new . . . spiky and unsettling. In this novel, home is elusive, safety is unlikely, and the reader closes the book both satisfied and unnerved.’ The Guardian
  • ‘A stealthily devastating book . . . Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader: we recognize the thing of darkness in us all. This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast.’ The Telegraph
  • ‘Swimming Home is a beautiful, delicate book underpinned by a complexity that only reveals itself slowly to the reader.’ Financial Times
  • ‘This amazing novel is a haunting exploration of loss and longing. It has an epic quality.’ The Independent
  • ‘A statement on the power of the unsaid. Magisterial . . . Themes, phrases and images recur in rhythmic cycles through this fugal novel. Levy’s cinematic clarity and momentum convey confusion with remarkable lucidity.’ Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘As the reader is drawn beneath the placid surface of her characters’ experiences, Levy reveals a more urgent world humming with symbols.’ Literary Review
  • ‘Exquisite . . . Levy’s sense of dramatic form, as she hastens us toward the grim finale, is unerring, and her prose effortlessly summons people and landscapes.’ New Yorker
  • ‘Readers will have to resist the temptation to hurry up in order to find out what happens . . . Our reward is the enjoyable, if unsettling, experience of being pitched into the deep waters of Levy’s wry, accomplished novel.’ New York Times
  • ‘Elegant . . . subtle . . . uncanny. . . The seductive pleasure of Levy’s prose stems from its layered brilliance.’ Washington Post
  • ‘Here is an excellent story, told with the subtlety and menacing tension of a veteran playwright.’ Wall Street Journal

More Information

  • Read more about Swimming Home, Black Vodka and An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell by clicking on the book covers below.







Author of:
Swimming Home


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