Deborah Levy

Black Vodka

Shortlisted for the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award

‘Kissing you is like new paint and old pain. It is like coffee and car alarms and a dim stairway and a stain and it’s like smoke.’

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, a bird mimics an old-fashioned telephone; in adland, 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.

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  • With an introduction by Michele Roberts.
  • The title story of Black Vodka was shortlisted for the 2012 BBC International Short Story Award.
  • Deborah Levy’s novel Swimming Home (And Other Stories, 2011) 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 went to the printers, 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.
Print status: Available
Author: Deborah Levy
Original language: English
Format: Trade paperback with flaps
Publication date: 4 May 2017
ISBN: 9781911508090
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276179
Availability: UK, Europe and Commonwealth (excl. Canada)
Number of pages: 144


The Independent

‘These tales of unconventional love reinforce Levy’s reputation as a major contemporary writer who never pulls her punches.’

Sunday Times

‘Metropolitan and knowingly sophisticated.’

Financial Times

‘These ominous, odd, erotic stories burrow deep into your brain.’

The Telegraph

‘A collection of mischievous vignettes of Mitteleuropa.’

Alex Clark
The Guardian

‘Like their protagonists, these stories are powerful because they are fragmentary, elliptical.’

Lucy Scholes
The Observer

‘Levy’s pen is a volatile weapon.’

Lauren Elkin
Times Literary Supplement

‘Levy sensitively conveys the phenomenology of textures, of skin and breath. Embedded in her coiled, polished sentences is the drive that pushes us together, and forces us apart.’