Lilyana Levy


Your name: Lilyana Levy

Your home town: I grew up in Glen Ridge, NJ and I have lived in Atlanta for the past five years.

Your major(s): Philosophy Ph.D Candidate

Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English? I spoke French nearly fluently at points in my life, when I first learned to speak as a child and after spending time living and studying in French speaking countries. Now I mostly just read French and German for my academic work since I no longer have many opportunities to practice speaking.

What are your career plans? I'm currently writing my dissertation in Philosophy and training to become a professor.

What is your favorite book or author and why? I've been reading So Many Olympic Exertions by Anelise Chen this summer. It is a contemporary experimental novel written in the style of Aurelius' Meditations from the perspective of a graduate student struggling to finish her dissertation while processing the death of a close friend. I'm reading it slowly because each page contains so many incisive observations that speak to the unique headspace of late-stage Ph.D pursuit. I highly recommend it to academics everywhere. Whenever I read a book that really captivates me, it becomes my favorite for a time.

What is your favorite word? Pickle.

Describe a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer:  Despite being taught how to outline, mind-map, draft, revise, edit, reverse-outline, etc. in grade school and college, I don't think I really understood how much of a process writing is until I entered grad school. I used to do these things because they were required as part of phased assignments, but I never really got much out of them. Having to work on much longer projects in grad school, I've learned that writing really does not only consist of the final words written on a page, but it also depends on all the research, thinking, and planning that supports the final product.