From the Man Booker Prize 2012 and
BBC International Short Story Award 2012
shortlisted Deborah Levy
Deborah Levy was also shortlisted for the 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards (UK Author of the Year) and 2013 Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize.
How does love change us? And how do we change ourselves for love – or for lack of it? Ten stories by acclaimed author Deborah Levy explore these delicate, impossible questions. In Vienna, an icy woman seduces a broken man; in London gardens, birds sing in computer start-up sounds; in ad-land, a sleek copywriter becomes a kind of shaman. These are twenty-first century lives dissected with razor-sharp humour and curiosity, stories about what it means to live and love, together and alone.
- The title story of Black Vodka was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award 2012.
- Deborah Levy’s most recent novel, Swimming Home (2011, And Other Stories) was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards (UK Author of the Year) and 2013 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize.
- If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before this book’s publication, you would have received one of the first copies of Black Vodka, in which all subscribers are thanked by name. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
- We love the things people are saying on twitter and Facebook about Deborah Levy’s Black Vodka ahead of publication. We thought you might like to hear a few of the advance comments – we’ve put them on our Ampersand blog here.
Praise for Black Vodka
- ‘There is a sexy hauteur in Deborah Levy’s prose reminiscent of the voice of Marianne Faithfull. The rasping, deadpan delivery of these ten new stories emit a dreamy harshness at once jaded and invigorating.’ Catherine Taylor, New Statesman
- ‘Here, as in her previous plays, stories and novels, her writing exhibits a rhetorical severity which has a mythic, lullaby quality, experimental and at the same time simple and beautiful.’ Alex Christofi, The Literateur
- ‘fabulously jolting’, ‘accomplished and uncanny’, ‘The strange, unpredictable journey is worth it.’ Alex Clark, The Guardian
- ‘Levy’s sinister, near-private language’ provides ‘more signs that her work is mellowing… these ominous, odd, erotic stories burrow deep into your brain.’ Anthony Cummins, Financial Times
- ‘Levy’s latest collection of short stories explores love, loss, and betrayal as well as the small cruelties that play out in modern day lives through elegantly conceived and executed prose.’ Lucy Popescu, The Independent on Sunday
- ‘The full work lingers on as more than the sum of its parts, so that each elliptical story becomes, by virtue of inclusion in the collective, its own second, larger narrative.’ Fiona Melrose, Writer’s Hub
- ‘Humane in its perception, dazzling in its originality and crystalline in its expression.’ Isabel Costello, The Literary Sofa
- ‘It seems only fitting that [Levy] follows her tour-de-force with this selection of her pared-down short fiction … [her] pen is a volatile weapon.’ Lucy Scholes, The Observer
- ‘Deborah Levy is one of the most exciting voices in contemporary British fiction, and her new collection, Black Vodka, delivers the sophisticated and astringent tone her readers have long come to expect.’ Lauren Elkin, TLS
- ‘These tales of unconventional love reinforce Levy’s reputation as a major contemporary writer who never pulls her punches.’ Julia Pascal, The Independent
- ‘Metropolitan and knowingly sophisticated, Levy’s sparse, elegant stories are poetic and faintly surreal’. Phil Baker, The Sunday Times
Praise for Deborah Levy
- ‘Levy’s strength is her originality of thought and expression.’ Jeanette Winterson
- ‘Levy’s prose throbs its way into the imagination.’ The Observer
- ‘Levy is an exciting writer, sharp and shocking as the knives her characters wield.’ Sunday Times
- ‘Lively, sharp, remarkably evocative with very few words, Levy is the best kind of “modern” writer’ Booklist (USA)
- ‘Levy is consistently striking and successful when reinterpreting and creating new contexts for literary and dramatic ideas.’ TLS
- ‘[Levy] is a skilled wordsmith and creates an array of intense emotions and moods in precise, controlled prose.’ The Independent
Praise for Swimming Home
- ‘Deborah Levy’s storytelling is allusive, elliptical and disturbing. Her touch is gentle, often funny and always acute… This is a prizewinner.’ Julia Pascal, The Independent
- ‘Deborah Levy has made something strange and new … spiky and unsettling. In Swimming Home, home is elusive, safety is unlikely, and the reader closes the book both satisfied and unnerved.’ John Self, The Guardian
- ‘A stealthily devastating book … Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader … This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast.’ Philip Womack, The Daily Telegraph
- ‘Deborah Levy’s brilliant Swimming Home is this year’s Man Booker Prize revelation.’ The Times
- ‘Levy’s sense of dramatic form is unerring, and her precise, dispassionate prose effortlessly summons people and landscapes.’ The New Yorker
- ‘Swimming Home is 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.’ Abigail Deutsch, TLS
- ‘Swimming Home is as sharp as a wasp sting.’ Christina Petrie, Sunday Times
- ‘A compact treasure.’ Boyd Tonkin, in his round-up of the year’s best fiction, The Independent
- ‘Delicate, calm, mysterious, both playful and terribly sad.’ Mary Gaitskill, New York Times