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.
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by Deborah Levy
by Joy Ellis
by Elizabeth Heathcote
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
by Kat Martin
by Lu Spinney
by S.E. England
by Michelle Frances
"With a poet's eye and a playwright's gift for compression, Levy's observations range from philosophical ponderings to elegant details of the quotidian. Henrietta Meire's intimate narration gives flesh and blood to Levy's sketches. Just as her marriage is crumbling, Levy loses her mother. The stress of these developments forces her to reflect on her place in a world in which she is considered only an appendage to her "man," and she wonders about her mother's life choices. "If our mother does the things she needs to do in the world, we feel she has abandoned us." 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. A wonderful audiobook. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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