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The Summer Without Men

Siri Hustvedt

21 Reviews

Rated 0

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

  • 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 - Tatler - Sebastian Shakespeare

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

  • [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 Summe

  • 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. - Observer

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

  • 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. - Daily Mail - Claire Colvin

  • 'Siri Hustvedt is a writer of strange and remarkably disquieting beauty, whose skill lies not only in the seemingly effortless way in which she elucidates the sadness or sweetness of the human condition, but also in her gift for exploring the loneliness of modem urban life.' - The Sun Herald

  • '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' - Lisa Appignanesi, Independent

  • [Mia] is alarmingly funny and her narrative toys with the immediacy of the epistolary novel .

  • Siri Hustvedt is an accomplished writer, both in fiction and non-fiction, but this time she's shown the true depth of her talent. It runs very deep.' - The Courier Mail

  • Hustvedt is an accomplished writer, with considerable powers of description, evocation and characterisation. - Sydney Morning Herald

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

  • 'Hustvedt is an accomplished writer, with considerable powers of description, evocation and characterisation. - Sydney Morning Herald

  • 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

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

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

  • Siri Hustvedt is a modern master. Her works belong among the most exciting and insightful of contemporary novelists. - The Economist

  • 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

  • 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

  • Praise for THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN: - .

  • Siri Hustvedt is a modern master. Her works belong among the most exciting and insightful of contemporary novelists. - The Age

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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.