She is a shimmering, melancholy angel, flown from Paradise to save him from the suburbs of hell. He an accountant, dreaming of a white Christmas, a little garden and someone to love. She attempts to fly him away from his habits and fears, while he holds on tight to all he knows.
Man Booker Prize shortlisted Deborah Levy whips up a storm of romance and slapstick, of heavenly and earthly delights, in this dystopian philosophical poem about individual freedom and the search for the good life.
Praise for An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell
- ‘I loved this effervescent dialogue between she and he, angel and accountant, wild desire and the (ever more desirable) quotidian. It’s Deborah Levy at her wise, witty and playful best. Read it and be seduced away from (or back into) the suburbs of hell.’ Lisa Appignanesi, author of All About Love
- ‘Levy just gets it entirely – the whole business of drab and yet compelling routine, and the fear of the inestimable, the longing nonetheless, the surrender each day to the ordinary, dispersing the dream, only to dream it again. An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell encapsulates all of this, redeems the crumpled weary mortal, sends him into a wild realm of uncertainty, satirises him, lavishes him with affection. A crazily beautiful, astonishing, original work of art.’ Joanna Kavenna, author of Come to the Edge
- ‘Whether writing with barely suppressed rage or achieving a brisk comic pace, the writing of Deborah Levy rarely lets the reader grow complacent….Levy deals with grand themes in unexpected ways, and her latest book (in a manner of speaking) addresses this head-on….Levy’s characters find their comfort in the small moments — though for a man and an angel, what counts as a small moment differs wildly. This poem is able to find moments of light comedy and ponder everyday moments of bliss and satisfaction; that it’s able to balance the two so nimbly is no small achievement. And ultimately, the tension between these two modes gives the work as a whole an abundant energy, echoing and reinforcing its central conflict, and balancing the sacred and the mundane.’ Daily Jewish Forward
- ‘Choppy and sparky, this sharply drawn dialogue plays out like an otherworldly soap opera. Levy’s having fun and so will the reader.’ We Love This Book
- ‘Landing back in the UK, this autumn I’m looking forward to Deborah Levy’s An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell.’ Joanna Walsh, 3am Magazine
- ‘Levy makes something singular of this typical love-stuff….like an indelible pop song, Levy’s text chooses all the right, simple words with an uncanny melody….Discourse wastes no time doing anything but shaking you up.’ John Wilmes, Bookslut
- ‘It will delight readers.’ Library Journal
- ‘With one foot in prose, but wings pulling free into air, Deborah Levy’s An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell is a prose-poem about the line between prose and poetry.’ Joanna Walsh, for Shakespeare and Company – Books of the Year 2014
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- Read an interview with Deborah Levy in The Independent.
- For this special book, we’ve gone to town even more than usual with our design and production – have a look at this beautiful red hardback with gold foiling!
- Daniel Levin Becker, editor at The Believer, picks An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell as one of his books of the year in Salon‘s Books of the Year lists.