The Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography by Deborah LevyA searching examination of all the dimensions of love, marriage, mourning, and kinship from two-time Booker Prize finalist Deborah Levy.
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 womens 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 mothers 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 mans 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.
Cost of Living in Los Angeles (USA)
Review: The Real Cost of Living
Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. Does money win? Or does life win? The book is broken into sections focusing on specific areas of decisions that we have to make in our lives. The Real Cost of Home The opening section establishes the format of the book. Each of the larger sections is broken down into smaller sections that address one major decision that people have to make between financial costs and personal costs.
‘What’s the point of a risk-free life?’ – Deborah Levy on starting again at 50
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And Deborah Levy is a most generous writer. What is wonderful about this short, sensual, embattled memoir is that it is not only about the painful landmarks in her life — the end of a marriage, the death of a mother — it is about what it is to be alive. After her marriage breaks down — at a time when her career is ascending she has been shortlisted for the Booker prize — Levy and her two young daughters move into a north London block of flats which she describes, in its stricken deficiency, with panache. She describes the bees that are her unexpected flatmates, her prospering strawberry plants, and the exotic oranges with cardamom that she and her daughters eat for breakfast. The affectionate portrait of eightysomething Celia Mitchell herself is delightful.