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The Cost of Living

Nonfiction: Autobiography, Biography
Unabridged   3 hour(s)
Publication date: 09/11/2018

AudioFile 2018 Best Audiobook
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The Cost of Living

A Working Autobiography

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684413683
Digital Download ISBN:9781684413690


A searching examination of all the dimensions of love, marriage, mourning, and kinship from two-time Booker Prize finalist Deborah Levy.

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Product Description

To strip the wallpaper off the fairy tale of The Family House in which the comfort and happiness of men and children has been the priority is to find behind it an unthanked, unloved, neglected, exhausted woman.

The Cost of Living explores the subtle erasure of women's names, spaces, and stories in the modern everyday. In this "living autobiography" infused with warmth and humor, Deborah Levy critiques the roles that society assigns to us and reflects on the politics of breaking with the usual gendered rituals. What does it cost a woman to unsettle old boundaries and collapse the social hierarchies that make her a minor character in a world not arranged to her advantage?

Levy draws on her own experience of attempting to live with pleasure, value, and meaning—the making of a new kind of family home, the challenges of her mother's death—and those of women she meets in everyday life, from a young female traveler reading in a bar who suppresses her own words while she deflects an older man's advances, to a particularly brilliant student, to a kindly and ruthless octogenarian bookseller who offers the author a place to write at a difficult time in her life. The Cost of Living is urgent, essential reading, a crystalline manifesto for turbulent times.


“Meire navigates the double crises Levy faces in a sure voice, sometimes allowing her vulnerability to shine through, sometimes presenting her as coolly contemplative and completely in charge.” —AudioFile

"Keen and moving... This timely look at how women are viewed (and often dismissed) by society will resonate with many readers, but particularly with those who have felt marginalized or undervalued." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Ms. Levy's great imagination, the poetry of her language, her way of finding the wonder in the everyday, of saying a lot with a little, of moving gracefully among pathos, danger and humor." —The New York Times

"Elegant . . . Subtle . . . Uncanny . . . The seductive pleasure of Levy's prose stems from its layered brilliance." —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Author Bio

Deborah Levy, FRSL, writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, widely broadcast on the BBC, and translated into fourteen languages. She is the author of highly praised novels, including Hot Milk and Swimming Home (both Man Booker Prize finalists), among others.