Shortlisted for the Man Booker 2016.
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.
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016
A richly mythic, colour-saturated tale from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Swimming Home - Deborah Levy explores the violently primal bond between mother and daughter
Today I dropped my laptop on the concrete floor. It was tucked under my arm and slid out of its black rubber sheath, landing screen-side down. The digital page shattered. Apparently there's a man in the next flyblown town who mends computers. He could send off for a new screen, which would take a month to arrive. Will I still be here in a month?
My mother is sleeping under a mosquito net in the next room. Soon she will wake up and shout, 'Sofia, get me a glass of water', and I will get her water and it will be the wrong sort of water. And then after a while I will leave her and return to gaze at the shattered starfield of my screen.
Two women arrive in a Spanish village - a dreamlike place caught between the desert and the ocean - seeking medical advice and salvation. One of the strangers suffers from a mysterious illness: spontaneous paralysis confines her to a wheelchair, her legs unusable. The other, her daughter Sofia, has spent years playing the reluctant detective in this mystery, struggling to understand her mother's illness.
Surrounded by the oppressive desert heat and the mesmerising figures who move through it, Sofia waits while her mother undergoes the strange programme of treatments invented by Dr Gomez. Searching for a cure to a defiant and quite possibly imagined disease, ever more entangled in the seductive, mercurial games of those around her, Sofia finally comes to confront and reconcile the disparate fragments of her identity.
Hot Milk is a labyrinth of violent desires, primal impulses, and surreally persuasive internal logic. Examining female rage and sexuality, Deborah Levy's dazzling new novel explores the strange and monstrous nature of motherhood, testing the bonds of parent and child to breaking point.
Format & Editions
May 16, 2016
Hamish Hamilton (UK)
May 1, 2016
Hamish Hamilton (UK)
May 29, 2017
Penguin General UK (UK Adult)