15 Deborah Levy Quotes That Will Inspire You To Read 'Hot Milk'

Deborah Levy is the kind of prolific writer who could make you feel unaccomplished, but her words are so on point for women that you can't help but feeling powerful and inspired anyway. For proof, check out these Deborah Levy quotes that will have your reaching for a copy of her latest book, Hot Milk.

Born in South Africa, Levy left school in 1981 to become an acclaimed playwright whose plays were put on by the Royal Shakespeare Company. She even went on to direct in England. Then, Levy published her first novel Beautiful Mutants at age 27, NBD. She's also published a treatise, essentially, of writing and being a female writer, in her nonfiction book in repose to Orwell called Things I Don't Want to Know . Today, her latest book Hot Milk has been shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, but this isn't her first rodeo: 2011's Swimming Home also made the shortlist.

Yeah, she's insanely accomplished.

Hot Milk centers on anthropologist Sofia who has spent her life trying to figure out her mother's mysterious illness. The duo travels to see a famous consultant Dr. Gomez in the south of Spain, but the new setting changes and emboldens Sofia even more than her mother, as she tries to ascertain whether her mom is faking, whether Dr. Gomez is a hack, and she explores trying to find a bigger life for herself.

These 15 Deborah Levy quotes will make you want to delve into her whole library.

1. “I confess that I am often lost in all the dimensions of time, that the past sometimes feels nearer than the present and I often fear the future has already happened.”

― Deborah Levy, Hot Milk

2. “It is dishonest to give me a poem and pretend to want my opinion when what you really want are reasons to live.”

― Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

3. “I am not okay. Not at all and haven´t been for some time. I did not tell her how discouraged I felt and that I was ashamed I was not more resilient an all the rest of it which included wanting a bigger life but that so far I had not been bold enough to make a bid for things I wanted to happen....”

― Deborah Levy, Hot Milk

4. "In this phase of writing, I reckon I am most interested in the novel. Why? Because in a brutally consumerist and corporate culture which disenfranchises so many people, the novel is a home for the reach of the human mind – with all its dimensions and contradictions."

― Deborah Levy in Big Issue North Q&A

5. “He bought her a bottle of lime pickle which seems to me a very intimate thing to do; it suggests he knows what she likes to taste.”

― Deborah Levy, Beautiful Mutants

6. “Be sure to enjoy language, experiment with ways of talking, be exuberant even when you don't feel like it because language can make your world a better place to live.”

― Deborah Levy, Pillow Talk in Europe and Other Places

7. “She was not a poet. She was a poem.”

― Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

8. “In my teens I used to comb the bookshelves at home looking for ones that might have some sex in them. I took down Edna O’Brien’s Country Girls books and devoured them.”

― Deborah Levy in Irish Times interview

9. “Anything covered is always interesting. There is never nothing beneath something that is covered.”

― Deborah Levy, Hot Milk

10. "Any female writer who is worth reading has a job on her hands when it comes to female characters. She’s got to unknot a lot of stuff. How do you make a female character a subject rather than an object? Kitty is fragile, but really astute. Isabel ― to do the thing she needed to do [have a career] ― has to sacrifice her place in the home. These days a lot of women are asking themselves, ‘what is that place?’ anyway.”

― Deborah Levy in Irish Times interview

11. “I want to be master of my own fuck-ups.”

― Deborah Levy, Beautiful Mutants

12. “As much as I try to make the past keep still and mind its manners, it moves and murmurs with me through every day.”

― Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

13. “Like everything that involves love, our children made us happy beyond measure ― and unhappy too ― but never as miserable as the twenty-first century Neo-Patriarchy made us feel. It required us to be passive but ambitious, maternal but erotically energetic, self-sacrificing but fulfilled ― we were to be Strong Modern Women while being subjected to all kinds of humiliations, both economic and domestic. If we felt guilty about everything most of the time, we were not sure what it was we had actually done wrong."

― Deborah Levy, Things I Don't Want to Know

14. “Life is only worth living because we hope it will get better and we'll all get home safely. But you tried and you did not get home safely. You did not get home at all.”

― Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

15. “To become a WRITER I had to learn to INTERRUPT, to speak up, to speak a little louder, and then LOUDER, and then to just speak in my own voice which is NOT LOUD AT ALL.”

― Deborah Levy, Things I Don't Want to Know

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