PositiveThe New RepublicThere were times, reading Real Estate, when I wondered where Levy’s loose, free-roaming meditations were headed ... Perhaps it’s just easier to spend time with someone struggling to unblock her sink with a Master Plunger than with the feted guest at a literary symposium. Or perhaps it’s a function of reading in post-pandemic times, when the apocalyptic repercussions of all our decisions are newly inescapable, but as she steps into her air conditioned hotel in Mumbai I found myself crabbily thinking of carbon emissions and refugees ... The notion of the refugee pervades these books, and she duly notes the disparity between the hotel and poverty of the streets she’s just witnessed. Yet it seems fleeting: We’re in a different territory, in this book, from the hyperacute political sensitivities of the Johannesburg chapter of Things I Don’t Want to Know ... Levy is often compared to Rachel Cusk and other contemporary stars of autofiction, but reading her for me evokes earlier, more ardent writers grappling with scenes of life with children—Tillie Olsen, Penelope Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing—women striving to align their possession by the chaos of motherhood with their immense creative ambition ... Like Fitzgerald, Levy has a gift for the pithy, annihilating moment of gnomic insight .. .embark on Levy’s rollicking, intimate journey, and you’ll have the joy of reaching this destination yourself.
Greta Thunberg, Malena Ernman, Svante Thunberg
PositiveThe New RepublicIt\'s...like a new form of nonfiction, intimate and approachable as a photo album: a family memoir ... A language of music and stagecraft pervades the whole book, which unfolds in a series of \'Scenes\'—pithy episodes from the life of the family, dense with metaphors of song ... The account of Malena and Svante’s struggle to find help and to feed [Greta], one tiny mouthful of rice or avocado at a time, is acutely painful to read ... Malena writes with crisp authority ... this is also a remarkable story of togetherness: a modern family shifting and pivoting to keep each person afloat ... Grown-ups should read this book.