Deborah Levy: Biography

Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy is a playwright and novelist who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1959. She spent the first few years of her life in South Africa, before her whole family emigrated to London in the late 1960s. After finishing school, Levy attended the Dartington College of Arts. Shortly after leaving, she started writing highly acclaimed plays, some of which were performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

In addition to her successes as a playwright, Levy is also the award-winning author of 7 different novels. The first, Beautiful Mutants, was published in 1989. She has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize twice, once in 2012 for Swimming Home and then again in 2016 for Hot Milk. She has been shortlisted for a great number of awards, but has yet to receive a major literary award.

In addition to the plays and novels, Levy has also written 3 collections of short stories, a long-form essay inspired by those of George Orwell and Virginia Woolf, many dramatisations and radio plays for Radio 4 as well as a poetry collection.

Levy has passed on her knowledge of creative writing by working at The Royal College of Art as a lecturer in screenwriting. She also guest lectures for institutions such as the Serpentine Gallery, The Freud Museum, the Tate Modern, The Royal Academy and many more. She has judged literary prizes such as the Ivan Juritz prize at King’s College, London. She continues to write and lecture and to participate in the wider literary community.
Photo credit: Simon Prosser