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Hot Milk

by Deborah Levy

Sofia and her mother, Rose, arrive on the Spanish coast seeking help. Rose is the victim of a biological conspiracy – her legs have stopped working and no one can tell her why. Sofia has been wrestling with this mystery single-handed for years and she’s desperate enough to call for back-up. But waiting in Almeria are many more questions than answers.

Who is Ingrid Bauer, the seamstress, the seductress, the big bad sister? Why is someone vandalising the walls of the town with gaudy love letters? And what part must Sofia play in all this? Floating on the dusk tide among numberless ghostly jellyfish, she feels everything inside herself shattering apart in slow motion. It is the best thing that ever happened to her.

Almeria is a place caught between the desert and the deep blue sea. It’s a place of shifting mirages, watched over by the famous Dr Gomez and his glamorous assistant, Nurse Sunshine. Sofia and Rose have come seeking solutions – but the answers they find are always to questions they had not thought to ask.  Under the unblinking glare of the desert sun, mother and daughter strain at the ragged boundaries of their relationship, testing the bonds of kinship to breaking point. Intoxicating and compulsively readable, Hot Milk unspools a hypnotic tale of female rage and sexuality, of myths and timeless monsters.


About Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy is a British playwright, novelist and poet. She is the author of five previous novels, Beautiful Mutants (1986); Swallowing Geography (1993); The Unloved (1994); Billy & Girl (1996) and Swimming Home (2011), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2012 as well as the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize. Deborah is also the author of a collection of short stories, Black Vodka (2013), which was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.  She has written over 20 plays, including Ophelia and the Great Idea, as well as commissions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and for Radio Four.


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