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Black Vodka Ten Stories

by Deborah Levy

Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Black Vodka Ten Stories

March 2013 Short Story Collection of the Month.

Ten elegant, witty yet unsettling short stories explore the dislocations of modern life. From the pain it can bring to the fear of not being cool or in control. Deborah Levy was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize with Swimming Home.


A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher on Black Vodka and Swimming Home...
'In Swimming Home, the ripples just keep on spreading. What first captivated me about this novel was its sure-handed concision, which, instead of warding off strangeness, actually created a space where the real strangeness of life was allowed to show. Yet every time I hear from another excited reader, Swimming Home has shown them something else again: the place of foreignness in different characters, where the madness lies and why, who is tied to whom, new talismanic objects and words, brand-new literary connections, hooking the story back into a great history of stories. The further I plumb this slim fiction, the greater depths it reveals.

Which is why Deborah Levy’s new collection, Black Vodka: ten stories, is both a joy and a relief. A joy because that same rare taste for strangeness can be savoured again on every page; a relief because my tightly plotted mental map of Levy’s fathomless world can now open out into a range of new places, new characters and new moods. Many of the stories in Black Vodka obliquely take up themes also in Swimming Home: childhood displacements, psychological connections and disconnections, the burdens of history, the difficulty of staying in love. But they give you new ways of thinking about these things. In a way, Black Vodka allows us to read Levy’s world through a fresh new set of prisms.'

Sophie Lewis, Editor, And Other Stories
31st January 2013

Black Vodka Ten Stories Synopsis

'Kissing you is like new paint and old pain. It is like coffee and car alarms and a dim stairway and a stain and it's like smoke.' ('Placing a Call') How does love change us? And how do we change ourselves for love - or for lack of it? Ten stories by acclaimed author Deborah Levy explore these delicate, impossible questions. In Vienna, an icy woman seduces a broken man; in London gardens, birds sing in computer start-up sounds; in ad-land, a sleek copywriter becomes a kind of shaman. These are twenty-first century lives dissected with razor-sharp humour and curiosity, stories about what it means to live and love, together and alone.

Black Vodka Ten Stories Press Reviews

Praise for Deborah Levy:


'Deborah Levy's storytelling is allusive, elliptical and disturbing. Her touch is gentle, often funny and always acute. '
Julia Pascal, Independent

'Levy's strength is her originality of thought and expression.'
Jeanette Winterson


‘Deborah Levy has made something strange and new . . . spiky and unsettling.’

John Self, Guardian

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781908276162
Publication date: 26/02/2013
Publisher: And Other Stories
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781908276162
Publication date: 26th February 2013
Author: Deborah Levy
Publisher: And Other Stories
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 144 pages
Genres: Literary Fiction, Shorter Reads,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Short stories,

About Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised books including Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography (both Jonathan Cape) and Billy  and Girl (Bloomsbury). Author photo © Sheila Burnett

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