The Cost of Living: A Working Autobiography Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

Deborah Levy
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Essay Topic 1

The Cost of Living is an autobiography written by a writer with a playwright background. Which parts of the book seem most theatrical and suited to the theatre to you? Choose two passages that seem most theatrical to write, how does Deborah's experience and knowledge of the theatre shape the way she writes this autobiography?

Essay Topic 2

The beginning of the autobiography quotes, "You're always more unreal to yourself than other people are." Marguerite Duras, Practicalities 1990.

This quote is returned to by the narrator several times. Find three examples and discuss how they connect with the author's idea of herself at different times in her life. How does her writing self relate to the idea of being real or unreal?

Essay Topic 3

Naming and its importance, is a major topic as Deborah becomes irritated that her male colleagues only refer to their spouses as "wife." As...

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