That spring when life was very hard and I was at war with my lot and simply couldn’t see where that was to get to, I seemed to cry most on escalators at train stations. Going down them was fine but there was something about standing still and being carried upwards that did it. From apparently nowhere tears poured out of me and by the time I got to the top and felt the wind rushing in, it took all my effort to stop myself from sobbing. It was as if the momentum of the escalator carrying me forwards and upwards was a physical expression of a conversation I was having with myself. Escalators, which in the early days of their invention were known as ” travelling staircases” or “magic stairways”, had mysteriously become danger zones.

Things I Don’t Want To Know is a response to George Orwell’s 1946 essay Why I Write and Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.

“[Levy] is a skilled wordsmith and creates an array of intense emotions and moods in precise, controlled prose.” –  The Independent

“While billed as a response to George Orwell’s essay “Why I Write,” it is as much an up-to-date version of “A Room of One’s Own,” and, like the Virginia Woolf essay, I suspect it will be quoted for many years to come.” –  The Irish Examiner

The Guardian • New Statesman • LA Times

Published by Penguin, 2014.

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