An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell — Deborah Levy

Following my bliss this Christmas Day, in which the rules are entirely unwritten. This is a beautiful, witty poem about an angel who, lost, meets an accountant in Ilford.

Levy’s prose so often feels to me like it borders on poetry — every word perfectly calibrated and not a single one wasted — that it was a particular joy to read this.

She creates such beautiful tension between the tender, comic and sad. “Your discontent / Has shattered / My double glazing / Twice”. And I love her eye for detail, which wonderfully conjures a suburban scene (a wardrobe door that “slides on its aluminium runner”, “modest wallpaper”).

It’s been just the kind of pithy, refreshing literary delight I needed this Christmas. Though I absolutely hate the cover — a travesty that I felt obliged to try and camouflage with the background.

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