Blending personal history, gender politics, philosophy, and literary theory into a luminescent treatise on writing, love, and loss, Things I Don't Want to Know is Deborah Levy's witty response to George Orwell's influential essay "Why I Write." Orwell identified four reasons he was driven to hammer at his typewriter - political purpose, historical impulse, sheer egoism, and aesthetic enthusiasm - and Levy's newest work riffs on these same commitments from a female writer's perspective.
As she struggles to balance womanhood, motherhood, and her writing career, Levy identifies some of the real-life experiences that have shaped her novels, including her family's emigration from South Africa in the era of apartheid; her teenage years in the UK where she played at being a writer in the company of builders and bus drivers in cheap diners; and her theater-writing days touring Poland in the midst of Eastern Europe's economic crisis, where she observed how a soldier tenderly kissed the women in his life goodbye.
Spanning continents (Africa and Europe) and decades (we meet the author at seven, fifteen, and fifty), Things I Don't Want to Know brings the reader into a writer's heart.
Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)
"Starred Review. Author of the Man Booker Prize shortlisted Swimming Home offers a slim, nuanced autobiography that addresses Orwell's timeless question of "Why I Write" from a woman's perspective" - Publishers Weekly
"Readers get only a vague sense of what these things we don't want to know might be in a book that seems like a catharsis for the writer but might prove enigmatic for most readers." - Kirkus
"A vivid, striking account of a writer's life, which feminises and personalises Orwell's blunt assertions." - The Spectator (UK)
"Powerful." -The New Statesman(UK)
"[Levy] is a skilled wordsmith and creates an array of intense emotions and moods in precise, controlled prose." -The Independent(UK)
"While billed as a response to George Orwell's essay 'Why I Write,' it is as much 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." -The Irish Examiner
The information about Things I Don't Want to Know shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
Deborah Levy was born in 1959 in South Africa, where her father was a member of the African National Congress, an academic, and a historian. The family emigrated to Wembley Park, England in 1968. Her parents divorced in 1974
Levy trained at Dartington College of Arts, leaving in 1981 to write a number of plays, including Pax, Heresies for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and and was director and writer for Manact Theatre Company, Cardiff
In 1986, at the age of 27, she wrote and published her first novel Beautiful Mutants. Her second novel, Swallowing Geography, was published in 1993, while her third one, Billy and Girl, was published in 1996. Swimming Home, her latest novel, was published in 2011 and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012.
She has always written across a...
Discover your next great read here
Be sincere, be brief, be seated
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.