Deborah Levy was born 6 August 1962 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her father, an academic and historian, was a member of the African National Congress. The family emigrated to Wembley Park, London in 1968. She studied theater at Dartington College of Ars and became a playwright whose works have been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company since 1981. She is also the author of several acclaimed novels, including Beautiful Mutants (1988), Swallowing Geography (1993), and Billy & Girl (1999). Her novel Swimming Home (2011) was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize, and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2012. The title story in her short story collection, Black Vodka and Other Stories (2013) was shortlisted for the BBC International Short Story Award. Hot Milk was shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, and The Man Who Saw Everything was selected for the 2019 Booker Prize longlist. She has been a director and writer for the MANACT Theatre Company in Cardiff, Wales, and a Creative Arts Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. She's a regular contributor of articles and reviews to newspapers and magazines including The Independent, The Guardian, and the New Statesman.