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I’ve spent so much of my life dreaming of homes I cannot afford | Deborah Levy

In this extract from Real Estate, the final instalment of Deborah Levy’s ‘living autobiography’ series, she reflects on fantasy properties, empty nests and the relationship between property and freedom

I walked to Central Park. It had suddenly become warm and I was so jet lagged I thought I might faint. I found a place near the entrance to the park under a tree and collapsed on to the grass. Lying on my back, looking up at the big American sky between the leaves, I saw something hanging from the branches. It was a key. A key on a red ribbon that someone had hung on a branch and forgotten to take with them. I wondered if they had deliberately left it behind because they were never going to return to wherever the key belonged. Or perhaps they wanted to close a door on a chapter of their life and leaving the key behind was a gesture of this desire. There is always something secret and mysterious about keys. They are the instrument to enter and exit, open and close, lock and unlock various desirable and undesirable domains.

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Divorcing: a classic novel about misogyny that was almost lost to it

Susan Taubes’s only novel was panned when it was published in 1969. Deborah Levy re-examines the wi...

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An American Writer Goes Into the Jungle to Commune With a Tiger

In her new memoir, “All the Way to the Tigers,” Mary Morris, acting on dreams she’s had since she...

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Deborah Levy's lockdown diary: 'My daughters would prefer it if I freaked out more'

The novelist on missing hugs, watching Tiger King and crying over the weekly clap for the NHSI know ...

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