Author(s): Siri Hustvedt
A provocative, wildly funny, intellectually rigorous and engrossing novel, punctuated by Siri Hustvedt's own illustrations - a tour de force by one of America's most acclaimed and beloved writers. Fresh from Minnesota and hungry for all New York has to offer, twenty-three-year-old S.H. embarks on a year that proves both exhilarating and frightening - from bruising encounters with men to the increasingly ominous monologues of the woman next door. Forty years on, those pivotal months come back to vibrant life when S.H. discovers the notebook in which she recorded her adventures alongside drafts of a novel. Measuring what she remembers against what she wrote, she regards her younger self with curiosity and often amusement. Anger too, for how much has really changed in a world where the female presidential candidate is called an abomination?
Hustvedt is far more intersting than the Mrs Paul Auster label attributed to her. Set in the 1970s, a young girl from the midwest US moves to New York City and becomes obsessed with her neighbour. Her writings, scribbles derived from that which she has eavesdropped, are discovered 40 years later. Hustvedt blurs the line between fact and fiction and will pull you into her world quickly.
Elisa, Book Grocer
Among the many riches of Siri Hustvedt's portrait of a young woman finding her way as an artist are her reflections on how acts of remembering, if they reach deep enough, can heal the broken present, as well as on the inherent uncanniness of feeling oneself brought into being by the writing hand. Her reflections are no less profound for being couched as philosophical comedy of a Shandean variety. - J. M. Coetzee
Siri Hustvedt's first novel, The Blindfold, was published by Sceptre in 1993. Since then she has published The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men and The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of the poetry collection Reading To You, and five collections of essays -Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros, Living, Thinking, Looking, and A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex and the Mind, as well as the memoir The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has a PhD in English from Columbia University and is also Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. In 2012, she was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities.