I don’t know Deborah Levy but I’ve been spending the weekend in the company of her words and considering writing some of them down in here. Because they’re memorable but also so I’ll remember them, memory being a coming and going kind of ability sometimes.

The weekend began early, sometime in the week, with a visit to a bookshop to buy two recently written books by her. My companions, as it’s turned out, for the weekend.

‘Things I Don’t Want to Know’ and ‘The Cost of Living’ are both volumes of memoir and, the publisher says, ‘examinations of the dual experiences of writing and womanhood.’ And I’m not going to even try and sum them up here, because I think they’re both worth you finding and reading for yourself, and because I suspect I may never be ready to ‘sum them up.’ There being too much in them, short as they are, to be those kind of books.

So what I’m offering to encourage you are these few words from Deborah Levy.

“When he asked me why my marriage was shipwrecked, his own honesty made it possible to speak more freely. After I had spoken for a while, he said, ‘It seems to me that you would be better off finding another way to live.’

Deborah Levy, ‘The Cost of Living’

These occur a few pages into the second of these books, from where I happen to have read up to. Encouraging me, of course, to carry on and read the rest. As happened all of Friday evening with the first book, while her stories dipped in and out of a snowstorm in Majorca, early days in apartheid South Africa, and thoughts of Simone De Beauvoir, A Room of One’s Own, George Orwell and Marguerite Duras. Good reading, deep words and liquid time, on a quiet Saturday in the company of Deborah Levy.

“The writing you are reading now is made from the cost of living and it is made with digital ink.”

Deborah Levy

Read more about reading at A Book in Your Bag.

Published by Ronnie Hughes

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place: http://asenseofplace.com.

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