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The Cost of Living

A Working Autobiography
Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

To strip the wallpaper off the fairy tale of "The Family House" in which the comfort and happiness of men and children has been the priority is to find behind it an unthanked, unloved, neglected, exhausted woman.

The Cost of Living explores the subtle erasure of women's names, spaces, and stories in the modern everyday. In this "living autobiography" infused with warmth and humor, Deborah Levy critiques the roles that society assigns to us and reflects on the politics of breaking with the usual gendered rituals. What does it cost a woman to unsettle old boundaries and collapse the social hierarchies that make her a minor character in a world not arranged to her advantage?

Levy draws on her own experience of attempting to live with pleasure, value, and meaning - the making of a new kind of family home, the challenges of her mother's death - and those of women she meets in everyday life, from a young female traveler reading in a bar who suppresses her own words while she deflects an older man's advances to a particularly brilliant student to a kindly and ruthless octogenarian book seller who offers the author a place to write at a difficult time in her life. The Cost of Living is urgent, essential listening, a crystalline manifesto for turbulent times.

©2018 Deborah Levy (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Henrietta Meire's intimate narration gives flesh and blood to Levy's sketches.... Meire navigates the double crises Levy faces in a sure voice, sometimes allowing her vulnerability to shine through, sometimes presenting her as coolly contemplative and completely in charge. A wonderful audiobook." (AudioFile)

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She puts words to feelings I couldn’t describe myself.

In a series of stories about everyday life and her inner thoughts Deborah Levy manages to find the words to explore feelings many of us have but can’t describe as well. I was dumbstruck at many points when a complex experience I’ve had myself and struggled to understand was described so beautifully and succinctly. I found that really healing. She explores the decision to end a marriage, redefining your place as a woman in our society, going through the death of a parent, navigating the world of men you love and dislike at the same time, and raising the next generation of women. I’ll be buying a paper copy to read as well because Deborah’s words needs to be savored longer than the time it takes to hear them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful