The dazzling novel by the author of the international bestseller, WHAT I LOVED, about the secrets and ghosts that haunt families from one generation to the next.
After their father's funeral, Erik and Inga Davidsen find a cryptic letter from an unknown woman among his papers, dating from his adolescence in rural Minnesota during the Depression. Returning to his psychiatric practice in New York, Erik sets about reading his father's memoir, hoping to discover the man he never fully understood.
At the same time, another woman enters Erik's lonely, divorced life - a beautiful Jamaican who moves into his garden flat with her small daughter. As Erik gets drawn into the cat-and-mouse tactics of someone who appears to be stalking her, he finds out that his sister Inga is also being threatened, by a journalist in possession of a wounding secret from her past.
A multi-layered novel that probes the mysteries of the heart and mind, THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN is a compulsive, thought-provoking and profoundly affecting novel that resonates long beyond the last page.
Beautifully thought through, deeply serious and enormously intelligent - Jane Smiley, Guardian
This passionately conceived, coolly delivered work is almost certainly the best American novel you will read all year . . . not to be missed - Melissa Katsoulis, Sunday Telegraph
A mystery story that develops into a subtle and complex novel . . . sharp, confident, tolerant and civilised - Tom Deveson, Sunday Times
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
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 satisfying and emotionally rich follow-up to Ms Hustvedt's acclaimed WHAT I LOVED treads some similar themes: love and loss; the limits of perception; the drama of dreams; and the need to craft coherent stories from the unreliable fragments of memory. As with her previous novel, Ms Hustvedt's cerebral characters are tenderly drawn, wise and realistic . . . a beautifully sincere examination of the grim traps of over-active minds - Economist
A novel of deep wisdom and storytelling - Lucy Beresford in New Statesman
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
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.