October 13, 2011

Deborah Levy: Swimming Home

Posted in Levy Deborah at 8:00 am by John Self

Swimming Home is one of the launch titles from And Other Stories, a new publisher headed by alumni from Serpent’s Tail (Stefan Tobler) and Dalkey Archive (Sophie Lewis). Such a provenance immediately made me want to read this novel (a quote on the back from Jeanette Winterson and an introduction by Tom McCarthy sealed the deal).

You can read my review of the book for the Guardian, here.

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11 Comments »

  1. Lee Monks said,

    Enough said! Must have!

  2. samjordison said,

    Very good!

  3. Clare D said,

    Sounds like a skilful piece of writing. I particularly like the idea that Joe is dismayed to find that Kitty has brought her own poetry to show him.

  4. bookatlas said,

    I was wondering which And Other Stories book to try next and now I think I know. Sounds intriguing…

  5. Eric Forbes said,

    Really enjoy reading your reviews, John!

  6. Kevin Chamow said,

    Just found this site, great name, great content.

    Kevin Chamow

  7. John Self said,

    Thanks Kevin.

  8. opus911 said,

    I’ve taken your word for it (not for the first time..) and bought Deborah Levy’s book.. I’m in page 125 at the moment, approaching the end of the book, and I can’t help but wonder what the fuss over it was.. While Levy’s writing highlights interesting aspects in her fictional characters at times, I did feel whilst reading her novel that some passages were very raw and could have done with some editing. If anything, Levy’s novel reads like a debut of a skillful writer who’s yet to say the final word, and not like the novel of a highly trained mature writer.. A but of a disappointment then..

  9. John Self said,

    Thanks for your comment, opus911. I’m sorry you didn’t like the book! I read it twice before writing my review and liked it very much both times. I agree that it is sometimes raw, but I didn’t feel that it was a rawness that was either (a) accidental, or (b) susceptible to improvement by being smoothed or polished. I hope our divergence this time won’t put you off listening to my recommendations in future!

    • Opus911 said,

      No worries there, John.
      I could take the opportunity to complain about Lars Iyer’s dreadfullu boring Spurious (am stuck in page 55 ATM) but i wont..
      What i would like though is recommend you read Borges’ delughtful Book, This Craft of Verse, a collection of six short lectures the great master gave at Harvard back in 1976.

  10. [...] its weight but in another league since its launch last year, not least with the all-conquering Swimming Home. If there’s any justice, Lightning Rods should repeat that [...]


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