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Things I Don't Want to Know by Deborah Levy
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Things I Don't Want to Know

$31.64 USD

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Narrator Juliet Stevenson
Length 2 hours 59 minutes
Language English
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A luminescent treatise on writing, love, and loss, a witty response to George Orwell's influential essay "Why I Write"

Things I Don't Want to Know is the first in Deborah Levy's essential three-part "living autobiography" on writing and womanhood.

Taking George Orwell's famous essay, "Why I Write", as a jumping-off point, Deborah Levy offers her own indispensable reflections of the writing life. With wit, clarity and calm brilliance, she considers how the writer must stake claim to that contested territory as a young woman and shape it to her need. Things I Don't Want to Know is a work of dazzling insight and deep psychological succour, from one of our most vital contemporary writers.

DEBORAH LEVY is the author of seven novels: Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography, The Unloved, Billy and Girl, Swimming Home, Hot Milk, and The Man Who Saw Everything. She has been shortlisted twice each for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Man Booker Prize. Her short story collection, Black Vodka, was nominated for the International Frank O'Connor Short Story Award and was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, as were her acclaimed dramatizations of Freud's iconic case studies, Dora and The Wolfman. She has also written for The Royal Shakespeare Company and her pioneering theatre writing is collected in Levy: Plays 1. Her work is widely translated.

Deborah Levy is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is also the author of a formally innovative and emotionally daring trilogy of memoirs, a "living autobiography" on writing, gender politics and philosophy, of which Real Estate is the final volume. The first two volumes, Things I Don't Want to Know and The Cost of Living, won the Prix Femina Etranger 2020.

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Reviews

“[A] contemplation of what it means to be a contemporary woman…Levy’s books are slim, but no less wondrous; she packs astounding insight and clarity into every passage.” —The Globe and Mail

"A lively, vivid account of how the most innocent details of a writer's personal story can gain power in fiction." - New York Times Book Review

"Profound." - Los Angeles Times

"[Levy] is a skilled wordsmith and creates an array of intense emotions and moods in precise, controlled prose." - The Independent (UK)

"A vivid, striking account of a writer's life." - The Spectator (UK)

"Powerful." - New Statesman (UK)

"An up-to-date version of 'A Room of One’s Own', and, like the Virginia Woolf essay, I suspect it will be quoted for many years to come." - Irish Examiner

"Levy successfully weaves historical, political, and personal threads together to form a nuanced account of her life and why she writes. Her graceful memoir/essay emphasizes a woman’s need to speak out even if she has to use a quiet voice. For feminists and memoir enthusiasts." - Library Journal

"Rather than, say, telling the reader to show rather than tell, [Levy] declines to tell us anything and then shows us a great deal. What results is much more valuable than any literal writing guide or any literal response to Orwell would have been. It certainly has greater political import." - Biographile

"Few essayists have the courage and talent to go head-to-head with George Orwell. Deborah Levy's response to Orwell's iconic piece "Why I Write" is at once a feminist call to arms, a touching memoir of small moments, and a guide to writing fiction from one of literature's bravest rulebreakers." - Barnes & Noble Review
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