‘Things I Don’t Want to Know’ is a unique response to George Orwell from one of our most vital contemporary writers. Taking Orwell’s famous list of motives for writing as the jumping-off point for a sequence of thrilling reflections on the writing life, this is a perfect companion not just to Orwell’s essay, but also to Levy’s own, essential oeuvre.
Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of numerous highly praised books including Things I Don’t Want to Know and Swimming Home, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, the 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards (UK Author of the Year) and the 2013 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize.Read more
In her powerful rejoinder to Orwell, Deborah Levy responds to his proposed motives for writing – 'sheer egoism', 'aesthetic enthusiasm', 'historical impulse' and 'political purpose' – with illuminating moments of autobiography. A vivid, striking account of a writer's life, which feminizes and personalizes Orwell's blunt assertions.
An up-to-date version of 'A Room of One's Own' . . . I suspect it will be quoted for many years to come.
Levy's strength is her originality of thought and expression.
One of the few contemporary British writers comfortable on a world stage.