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 - Guardian - Jane Smiley
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 d
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 - Observer - Viv Groskop
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 - Literary Review
This passionately conceived, coolly delivered work is almost certainly the best American novel you will read all year . . . not to be missed - Sunday Telegraph - Melissa Katsoulis
A mystery story that develops into a subtle and complex novel . . . sharp, confident, tolerant and civilised - Sunday Times - Tom Deveson
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: A History of My Nerves.