Pillow Talk in Europe and Other Places

Overview

From the author of Billy and Girl, this collection of stories explores the emptiness at the center of the characters' lives and their attempts to fill this lack. In "Cave Girl" Cass goes through a sex change, not to become a man, but rather to become "less of a real girl and more of a pretend woman." Her surgery transforms her into a woman desired by all men -- including her brother. "Conversations with Famous Artists I Have Known" relates an afternoon discussion between two women, one who chose motherhood and a ...

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Overview

From the author of Billy and Girl, this collection of stories explores the emptiness at the center of the characters' lives and their attempts to fill this lack. In "Cave Girl" Cass goes through a sex change, not to become a man, but rather to become "less of a real girl and more of a pretend woman." Her surgery transforms her into a woman desired by all men -- including her brother. "Conversations with Famous Artists I Have Known" relates an afternoon discussion between two women, one who chose motherhood and a routine life at the expense of her creativity, the other a world famous, self-centered artist. In these stories about friendship, motherhood, and the search for enduring love, rules about decency and kindness are broken and repaired as men and women attempt to achieve an elusive sense of fulfillment.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Lively, sharp, remarkably evocative..." -- Booklist

Dalkey Archive Press

Library Journal
In her introduction, novelist Levy (Billy and the Girl) describes these stories as interpretations and reinventions of "what freedom means" within relationships. "Vienna" and "Pillow Talk" relate to affairs outside of relationships, while "Cave Girl" explores the impact of a young woman's decision to have surgery to become another kind of woman, one who is more sexually attractive and also less real. A painfully acute description of a panic attack, "Clearing the Air" centers on a butterfly that lands on a woman's shoe. The last story, "The Way She Walked," ends with the sentence, "Love is difficult, but it's the best way of being in the world." In many ways, this thought belies the collection, for the stories describe cold sexual encounters and infidelities and betrayals of others and of self that are the antithesis of love. Despite lyrical shards of writing, this bleak, edgy anthology leaves the reader chilled and somewhat bewildered by an invocation of freedom more destructive than constructive to the relationships within and between the stories. It is a book that challenges assumptions and will likely appeal only to limited audiences and specialty short story collections.-Caroline Hallsworth, City of Greater Sudbury, Ont. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564783332
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Levy was born 1959 in South Africa. She is a British playwright, novelist, and poet. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company and she is the author of several novels.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Table of Contents

Conservations with Famous Artists I Have Known 9
Pillow Talk 27
Vienna 39
Cave Girl 47
Simon Tegala's Heart in 13 parts 57
Cleaning the Air 67
A Better Way to Live 75
Emptiness 85
The Way She Walked 95
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