The devilishly playful, intellectually inspiring, emotionally involving new novel from Siri Hustvedt, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
The artist Harriet Burden, furious at the lack of attention paid her by the New York art world, conducts an experiment: she hides her identity behind three male fronts in a series of exhibitions. Their success seems to prove her point, but there's a sting in the tail - when she unmasks herself, not everyone believes her. Then her last collaborator meets a bizarre end.
In this mesmerising tour de force, Burden's story emerges after her death through a variety of sources, including her (not entirely reliable) journals and the testimonies of her children, lover and a dear friend. Each account is different, however, and the mysteries multiply.
I have told nearly everyone I love - and some random acquaintances - to stop whatever they are doing and read THE BLAZING WORLD. . . Hustvedt's novels have always been smart, accomplished, critically acclaimed but this one feels like a departure. There is more heat in it, more wildness; it seems to burst on to a whole other level of achievement and grace - Financial Times
Her prose is brilliant, furious, teeming with intelligence and life - an experiment in reception itself. - Literary Review
...there is something special about this book; THE BLAZING WORLD is an intellectual puzzle from the moment you pluck it from the bookshelf. Intricate, sensory and challenging, the book does in fact blaze. - The Big Issue, Australia
Fans of Hustvedt's bestselling WHAT I LOVED will recognise both the themes (art, identity, gender) and the author's showy brilliance. - Jennifer Byrne for Australian Women's Weekly
The rigorous and arresting BLAZING WORLD both demands and welcomes. While the novel gains richness in direct relation to its reader's fluency in art, literature, neuroscience and gender studies, Hustvedt's allegiance to the importance of the body alongside the mind causes it to throb with an array of love stories and uncanny mysteries. - The Saturday Age, Melbourne
THE BLAZING WORLD works best when Hustvedt gets the balance right and manages to shroud Burden in tantalising mystery rather than smother her in a fug of opacity. It is here that we can appreciate the novel as an intoxicating "anthology of voices'', an inventive portrait of the artist and a searing critique of the way we see and judge. - Weekend Australian
Siri Hustvedt is the author of seven novels including the international besteller What I Loved, The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and Memories of the Future, as well as 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. She has also published a poetry collection, Reading To You, and the memoir The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves.
Hustvedt has won the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities and the European Essay Prize for her essay The Delusions of Certainty. She is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and has written on art for the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph. Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt lives in Brooklyn, New York.