Thursday, May 19, 2022

Real Estate: A Living AutobiographyReal Estate: A Living Autobiography by Deborah Levy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a worthy successor to Deborah Levy's last memoir, The Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography as she attunes to her singlehood, considers the patriarchy, travels to France and Greece and Germany, converses with friends, reminisces about her South African childhood, and dreams of her un-real estate house, a rich imaginary figment she embellishes with objects throughout the book. Her writing is warm and familiar no matter the topic. Her characters lively and varied and useful challengers of her ideas. She writes beautifully of places, living spaces, reading matter, and her daily swims. Favorite quotes: (1)When a woman has to find a new way of living and breaks from the societal story that has erased her name, she is expected to be viciously self-hating, crazed with suffering, tearful with remorse. These are the jewels reserved for her in the patriarchy’s crown, always there for the taking. There are plenty of tears, but it is better to walk through the black and bluish darkness than reach for those worthless jewels. and (2) The line that means the most to me in the entire play is Hamlet’s reply when asked what it is he is reading. Words, words, words.

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