Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

hot milk

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
Penguin Random House UK 2016
Man Booker Shortlist
223 x 144 x 23mm
Bound 2016
Private Collection.


Full leather binding with hand dyed goatskin. Unsupported link stitch with a Fraynot hinge attachment. Edges washed with acrylic in a diesel blue. French double silk end-bands. 

The doublures are made with layers of green and blue tissue paper which have been distressed. Deep blue suede flyleaves adhered to the verso is a layer of coloured tissue, upon which a medusa jellyfish has been blocked with hologram foil. Recessed craquelle onlays front and back with the addition of a ring of sparkly stones to the front board. Foil tooled.


This novel, set in Almeria in Andalusia on the Playa de los Muertos, is rich with themes and imagery. I chose a couple of reoccurring elements; water and the ocean for the background, creating sweeping and wild strokes with the dyes to symbolise the fractious relationship the protagonist, Sofia, has with her Mother.

Circles and domes, in different forms, are peppered throughout the text – I chose these shapes for the design structure. Sofia is on a quest for a cure for her Mother’s mysterious illness – this is represented by the pharmaceutical cross. The ring of “diamonds” is a nod to the cheap, bling watch bought at a market.