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  • Sceptre

The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves

Siri Hustvedt

14 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 m

  • Provocative but often funny, encyclopedic but down to earth...It brings together an extraordinary double story: that of Hustvedt's own odyssey of discovery, and of that point where brain and mind, neurology and psychiatry, come together in the realm of neuropsychoanalysis. The odyssey has not cured her, nor led to a conclusion - but Hustvedt's erudite book deepens one's wonder about the relation of body and mind. - Oliver Sacks

  • Praise for - THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN

  • A personal investigation, a philosophical inquiry, and a pithy, compacted consideration of how both psychiatry and neurology have evolved in the last two centuries...She brings both knowledge and an artist's insight to her discussion of memory, language, personal identity. Readers of Oliver Sacks will rate this book highly. - Hilary Mantel, Guardian

  • For all its cerebral riches, this novel is composed with superb artistry, Hustvedt handles the numerous interlocking narratives with immense skill. . . It is proof of Hustvedt s talent that the terrors of this novel feel real - John de Falbe, Literary Review

  • This novel is easily described as wonderful . . . THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN feels like a very personal story and is all the more intimate for it . . . her skill lies in convincing the reader that we have seen right inside someone's soul - Viv Groskop, Observer

  • She has an env

  • It is a rare writer who can both rouse the mind and grip the heart, and all the while provide the sensuous delights of image and language. In her new novel, as in WHAT I LOVED, Siri Hustvedt does that and more . . . a book that s almost impossible to put down, and even harder not to re-read - Lisa Appignanesi, Independent

  • Beautifully thought through, deeply serious and enormously intelligent - Jane Smiley, Guardian

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Siri Hustvedt

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.