TOC 1 | The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy

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The Guardian ranked “The Cost of Living” under the 100 Best Books of the 21st Century.


Our Choice

Deborah Levy started one of the most unusual literary adventures of the past decade. Writing her autobiography in three parts regarding a special phase of her life. “The Cost of Living” describes the end of her marriage and a new start - not knowing what will come next, not knowing that she has to face an even more terminal loss.  

About the Author

Deborah Levy was born in South Africa in 1959. She was nine years old when her father, a member of the African National Congress, was released from prison and the family moved to England. In 2013, she began writing her three-part “living autobiography”. In “Things I Don’t Want To Know” she posed a question to herself: “Why I write”, a response to George Orwell’s famous essay from 1946.By this time, Deborah Levy was already a master of her trade – her novel “Swimming Home” had been nominated for the Booker Prize 2012, establishing her as “one of the most exciting voices in contemporary British fiction”. (Times Literary Supplement) Two more novels, “Hot Milk” and “The Man Who Saw Everything”, were subsequently nominated for the Booker Prize.

About the Typography

For Deborah Levy’s book we looked at many digital versions of Caslon, in the end going for William Text, designed in 2017 by a young Russian designer, Maria Doreuli. Her version of Caslon is a contemporary inter- pretation combining English, Russian and Dutch influences into a modern international family of types.

About the Design

Inspired by the term book-jacket, the covers are based on textile patterns, in this case polka-dots. They are printed by hand in red and blue, celebrating rather than hiding the imperfections inherent in the manual process. 

About the Production and Materials

Letterpress printing on a 1954 Heidelberg Cylinder
• Book jacket printed on Gmund cotton paper by hand at p98a Berlin on a Korrex
• Paper: 90g Schleipen Werkdruck Endpapers: Peyer Surbalin Linea Cover linen: Schabert Brillianta
• Set in William Text by Maria Doreuli and FF Real by Erik Spiekermann
• Illustrations by Erik Spiekermann

144 p. 

• ISBN 978-3-949164-00-2