Sunday, 13 January 2013


Black Vodka by Deborah Levy (2013)

 "Have you ever had that weird feeling in an airport when you panic and don't know what to do? One screen says Departures and another screen says Arrivals and for a moment you don't know which one you are. You think, am I an arrival or am I a departure?" (from Pillow Talk)

Black Vodka is ten stories about Europe. Ten stories about identity, love, loss and longing which take the reader around Europe. I liked them all and they certainly made me think. There are many charming sentences, and they are all full of wit and sadness. Although, sometimes the Europeaness was too obvious, I mean, not every person in the book didn't need to have several identities.

The story I liked best was probably Cave Girl; a story about a young girl who dislike herself so much she gets a total make-over. It is told by her brother and it is disturbing to read how the brother develops feelings for the sister.

Deborah Levy made me want to read more short stories, and more importantly, force my students to read, so I ordered a few anthologies with various authors to use in class, but of course I have to read them first. I also am going to read Swimming Home soon.

"Kissing you is like new paint and old pain. It is like coffee and car alarms and a dim stairway and it's like smoke." (from Placing a Call)


  1. Falt pladask for tittelen! Jeg tror ikke jeg ha hørt forfatteren, - men ble veldig nysgjerrig. Her må googles (og kjøpes. Neida. Joda. Neda).

    1. Jeg kan ikke akkurat anbefale den av hele mitt hjerte, den er fin, men det er liksom bare alt også. Helt grei når du leser, men glemt to uker senere.

  2. Skeptisk... Det spørs om det blir flere Levy-bøker på meg, selv om Swimming Home var en utmerket bok å diskutere. Jeg kan ikke si jeg koste meg med den.

    1. Ja, det er ikke sånn at jeg har kasta meg over Swimming Home rett etterpå. Elegant bok, særlig språk, men ganske kjedelig.


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