Hot Milk

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Hot Milk
Hot Milk (Levy novel).jpg
AuthorDeborah Levy
CountryUnited Kingdom
Publication date

Hot Milk is a 2016 novel by Deborah Levy.[1] It follows a mother and daughter, Rose and Sofia, who embark on a journey to a Spanish clinic in search of a medical cure for Rose’s paralysis, which confines her to a wheelchair and limits Sofia's freedoms.[2] The proprietor of the clinic, Gómez, is charismatic but may be a quack. While Rose undergoes treatment, 25-year-old Sofia becomes obsessed with Ingrid, a seamstress. Later, Sofia visits her father, from whom she has been estranged, in Athens, and spends time with his new wife and daughter. Athens seems to be in a state of collapse, and the novel pictures both Greece and Spain in the throes of economic and political turmoil. Sofia is an anthropologist by training, and this informs her perspective on events.

Reviewing the novel for the New York Times, Sarah Lyall explained that "the book is a tale of how Sofia uses strength of will, rigorous self-examination and her anthropological skills to understand and begin to repair things that are holding her back" and argued that "What makes the book so good is Ms Levy’s great imagination, the poetry of her language, her way of finding the wonder in the everyday, of saying a lot with a little, of moving gracefully among pathos, danger and humour and of providing a character as interesting and surprising as Sofia. It’s a pleasure to be inside Sofia’s insightful, questioning mind."[3]

In September 2016, it was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. Levy was previously shortlisted for the award for her novel, Swimming Home, in 2012.

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "Man Booker prize 2016: the longlist – in pictures". The Guardian. July 27, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Shriver, Lionel (24 March 2016). "'Hot Milk', by Deborah Levy". Financial Times.
  3. ^ New York Times, 10 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Man Booker Prize announces 2016 shortlist". Man Booker. September 13, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)