The dazzling debut of Siri Hustvedt, author of the international bestseller WHAT I LOVED.
Iris Vegan, a graduate student living alone and impoverished in New York, encounters four strong characters who fascinate and in different ways subordinate her: an inscrutable urban recluse who employs her to record the possessions of a murdered woman; a photographer whose eerie portrait of Iris takes on a life of its own; an old woman in hospital who tries to claim a remnant of the ailing Iris; and a professor she has an affair with. An exploration of female identity in an age when the old definitions as some man s daughter/wife/mother no longer apply, fuelled with eroticism and a sense of menace.
Gripping...A complex exploration of the nature of the self, executed in polished and immediate prose - The Times
It has vivid and compelling characters; it is scary, sinister and readable ... a very smart novel - Independent
Brilliant...A dark, mesmerising debut - Independent on Sunday
Hustvedt has pulled off nothing less than a re-mapping of the modern feminist psyche...The quality and spareness of her prose, the intensity of her imagination, are at work on one of the most macabre terrains of the 20th century - New York - Daily Telegraph
A harsh, dark, dangerous piece of prose...Sharply readable, quirky and entertaining in its witty observation of student and city life, but the whole resonates with shocking force - Vogue
A work of dizzying intensity ... an intriguing and sure-handed debut by a writer of eloquent and vivid disposition - Don DeLillo
Sexy without being steamy, intelligent without being complicated - New Statesman
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 four collections of essays -Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros and Living, Thinking, Looking, 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 in 2012 was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities.
She delivered the Schelling Lecture in Aesthetics in Munich in 2010, the Freud Lecture in Vienna in 2011 and the opening keynote at the conference to mark Kierkegaard's 200th anniversary in Copenhagen in 2013, while her latest honorary doctorate is from the University of Gutenburg in Germany. She is also Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and has written on art for the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph and several exhibition catalogues.