Deborah Levy

An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell

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.

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  • Here is a film of Deborah Levy, discussing An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell, in her writing shed, hosted by the Irish Times and with an introduction to Levy’s writing career by the late Eileen Battersby.
  • Read an interview with Deborah Levy in The Independent.
  • 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 list.
Print status: Available
Author: Deborah Levy
Original language: English
Format: Hardback with foil detail
Publication date: 6 February 2014
ISBN: 9781908276469
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276476
Availability: World
Number of pages: 96


Lisa Appignanesi

‘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.’

Joanna Kavenna

‘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.’

‘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.’