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The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves

Siri Hustvedt

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Autobiography: literary, Prose: non-fiction, Psychiatry

By the bestselling author of WHAT I LOVED, an intimate and enlightening account of her search for the key to her mysterious nervous disorder, which brilliantly illuminates the connection between mind and body.

While speaking at a memorial event for her father, the novelist Siri Hustvedt suffered a violent seizure from the neck down. Was it triggered by nerves, emotion or something else entirely?

In this profoundly thought-provoking and revealing book, Hustvedt takes the reader on her journey through psychiatry, philosophy, neuroscience and medical history in search of a diagnosis. Conveying the often frightening mysteries of illness, she illuminates the perenially mysterious connection between mind and body and what we mean by I .

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Praise for The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves

  • Provocative but often funny, encyclopedic but down to earth...Hustvedt's erudite book deepens one's wonder about the relation of body and mind. - Oliver Sacks

  • Readers of Oliver Sacks will rate this book highly; as with Sacks, scientific knowledge and a powerful capacity for empathy are closely linked...It is Hustvedt's gift to write with exemplary clarity of what is by necessity unclear. - Hilary Mantel, Guardian

  • She thinks her way through complex subject matter with the effortless clarity of a poised and sceptical outsider...a short book with an encyclopaedic breadth - Lisa Appignanesi, Independent

  • She has an enviable ability to digest and reframe her discoveries into clear, accessible prose - Melanie McGrath, Sunday Telegraph

  • Fascinating...what gives the book its originality is that she wavers on the edge of the various disciplines, preferring her own imaginative, deeply personal reflections to the potential certainty that might be offered by doctors...Although a desire for clear-cut answers is understandable, Hustvedt suggests that this is often far from possible. And she leaves the reader thinking about his or her own bouts of illness in a thoroughly fresh way. - Lorna Bradbury, Daily Telegraph

  • Provocative but often funny, encyclopedic but down to earth...Hustvedt's erudite book deepens one's wonder about the relation of body and mind. - Oliver Sacks

  • Readers of Oliver Sacks will rate this book highly; as with Sacks, scientific knowledge and a powerful capacity for empathy are closely linked...It is Hustvedt's gift to write with exemplary clarity of what is by necessity unclear. - Hilary Mantel, Guardian

  • She thinks her way through complex subject matter with the effortless clarity of a poised and sceptical outsider...a short book with an encyclopaedic breadth - Lisa Appignanesi, Independent

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Siri Hustvedt

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.

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