Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, the Washington Post, TIME.com, and Kirkus
A Millions Most Anticipated Book of the Year
A USA Today Book Not to Miss
A LitHub Best-Reviewed Book of the Year
Real Estate is the third and final installment in three-time Booker Prize nominated Deborah Levy's Living Autobiography series: an exhilarating, thought-provoking and boldly intimate meditation on home and the specters that haunt it in our patriarchal society.
"Three bicycles. Seven ghosts. A crumbling apartment block on the hill. Fame. Tenderness. The statue of Peter Pan. Silk. Melancholy. The banana tree. A love story."
Virginia Woolf wrote that in order to be a writer, a woman needs a room of one's own. Now, in Real Estate, acclaimed author Deborah Levy concludes her ground-breaking trilogy of living autobiographies with an exhilarating, boldly intimate meditation on home and the specters that haunt it.
In this vibrant memoir, Levy employs her characteristic indelible writing, sharp wit, and acute insights to craft a searing examination of womanhood and ownership. Her inventory of possessions, real and imagined, pushes readers to question our cultural understanding of belonging and belongings and to consider the value of a woman's intellectual and personal life.
Blending personal history, gender politics, philosophy, and literary theory, Real Estate is a brilliant, compulsively readable narrative.
Levy (The Cost of Living) brings her trilogy of autobiographies home in this incandescent meditation on writing, womanhood, and the places that nurture both. From her shabby flat in North London, she imagines a dream property: "a grand old house with the pomegranate tree in the garden," and returns to this refrain throughout her delightful memoir-in-vignettes. Levy is 59 and single, and, with her youngest daughter off to university, takes a fellowship in Paris and contemplates the nature of middle-aged female freedom that includes, for her, a deep longing for an expansive kind of rootedness. "Domestic space," she observes, "if it is not an affliction bestowed on us by patriarchy, can be a powerful space. To make it work for women and children is the challenge." She accumulates treasures for the "unreal estate" of her dreams, contemplates a friend's extramarital affair, rents a crumbling old home in Greece, and encounters sexist male writers. Despite what physically occurs, this is a cerebral affair Levy's mind is both troubled and titillated by the slipperiness of time and place and her wry wit and descriptive powers are more pleasurable than any plot. Eloquent and unapologetically frank, Levy's astute narrative is a place worth lingering in.