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The Summer Without Men

Siri Hustvedt

8 Reviews

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

An exhilarating tragicomedy about the war of the sexes and what makes women tick by the internationally bestselling author Siri Hustvedt.

After Mia Fredricksen's husband of thirty years asks for a pause - so he can indulge his infatuation with a young French colleague - she cracks up (briefly), rages (deeply), then decamps to her prairie childhood home.

There, gradually, she is drawn into the lives of those around her: her mother's circle of feisty widows; the young woman next door; and the diabolical teenage girls in her poetry class. By the end of the summer without men, Mia knows what's worth fighting for - and on whose terms.

Provocative, mordant, and fiercely intelligent, this is a gloriously vivacious tragi-comedy about women and girls, love and marriage, and the age-old war between the sexes.

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Praise for The Summer Without Men

  • Siri Hustvedt is a novelist of great intelligence. She knows the ways of the world and of the heart . . . THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN is a new departure. Despite its painful subject matter - marital rupture, encroaching death, the tormenting antics of malice-ridden girls - the novel is a mordant comedy. - Lisa Appignanesi, The Observer

  • a rich and intelligent meditation on female identity, written in beguiling lyrical prose . . . heady and intoxicating - Lucy Scholes, Sunday Times

  • Hustvedt is a writer of luminous perception - Jane Shilling, Telegraph

  • Hustvedt's intensely visual writing spans the generations. She can conjure up a child's realm of imaginary friends as evocatively as the brave face adopted by the elderly living in "a world of continual loss". The story of one woman regaining her own identity, it's by turns funny, moving and erudite, playfully reminding us of a contemporary Jane Austen. - Claire Colvin, Daily Mail

  • It's a warm, affecting tale about love, loss and finding consolation in female friendship. Hustvedt captures both the absurdity and the tragedy of life - Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler

  • [Mia] is alarmingly funny and her narrative toys with the immediacy of the epistolary novel . . . Events are coupled with commentary, commentary leads into event and temporal sequence is delightfully confused. Such digressive freedom is one of the pleasures of THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN, in which fiction, fantasy, and historical fact are interweaved. - Stephanie Bishop, TLS

  • THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN shows a mind alive, at work and boundlessly curious about the way people live and love. It is the kind of book with which to grapple and argue, to challenge and fight, but also with which to engage and at which to marvel. - Jennifer Levasseuer, The Age

  • Siri Hustvedt is an intelligent, intuitive, talented writer - Lionel Shriver, Financial Times

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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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