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Summary

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

How does love change us? And how do we change ourselves for love - or for lack of it? Ten stories by acclaimed author Deborah Levy explore these delicate, impossible questions. In Vienna, an icy woman seduces a broken man; in London gardens, birds sing in computer start-up sounds; in ad-land, a sleek copywriter becomes a kind of shaman.

These are 21st century lives dissected with razor-sharp humour and curiosity, stories about what it means to live and love, together and alone.

Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised books including Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography and Billy and Girl.

Her most recent novel, Swimming Home (2011, And Other Stories) was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Black Vodka, the title story in this collection, was shortlisted for the 2012 BBC International Short Story Competition.

©2013 Deborah Levy (P)2014 Audible Studios

Critic reviews

"There is a sexy hauteur in Deborah Levy's prose reminiscent of the voice of Marianne Faithfull. The rasping, deadpan delivery of these ten new stories emit a dreamy harshness at once jaded and invigorating." (Catherine Taylor, New Statesman)

"Here, as in her previous plays, stories and novels, her writing exhibits a rhetorical severity which has a mythic, lullaby quality, experimental and at the same time simple and beautiful." (Alex Christofi, The Literateur)

"Fabulously jolting"", ""accomplished and uncanny", "The strange, unpredictable journey is worth it."(Alex Clark, The Guardian)

What listeners say about Black Vodka

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Loved these

I really enjoyed these stories. I found them easy to drift into while I work on my paintings. Very well performed and interesting storyline. I have another book sitting in my shelf by Deborah levy that I’m desperate to read now.

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Don't waste your time

Disappointed. The description of the book really sold it but unfortunately, I found all but one of the stories to be really cliche and boring with awfully dull and one dimensional characters. The different narrators were a mixed bag from awful to great. There are much better short story collections out there so don't waste your time on this.