Things I Don't Want to Know is that kind of a book--it makes you do things. While an easy read, I was nevertheless keenly aware of being in the hands of a sophisticated writer, of being served a piece of literature someone had taken great pains to create. Immediately upon finishing this slim volume (while sitting under an air conditioner in baking-hot Tel Aviv this summer), I made notes, trying to figure out the various symbolisms, the pacing, the structure. The prose, the metaphorial details, the emotional touch points, they all fit together nicely to form a shimmering mosaic, giving the reader a glimpse of Levy's journey as a writer, especially a writer who is also a mother.
Things I Don't Want to Know intrigued me enough to watch every interview I could find with Levy on youtube (she's not only a terrific writer, she's also regally beautiful), and to get her other books from the library. (It's a sure sign that a writer's work resonates with me when I seek out his/her other works.) Her short novel Swimming Home was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2012 and is waiting on my stack to be read. I found the short stories in her collection Black Vodka not quite as engaging as her memoir, but they do deliver a punch in their denseness and almost brutal swiftness.
Read my review of Things I Don't Want to Know here. It has definitely earned a permanent spot on my book shelf, and that says something since, as longtime readers know, I've become more ruthless about purging my shelves.