Author(s): Siri Hustvedt
This is the story of two men who first become friends in 1970s New York, of the women in their lives, and of their sons, born the same year. Both Leo Hertzberg, an art historian, and Bill Weschler, a painter, are cultured, decent men, but neither is equipped to deal with what happens to their children - Leo's son drowns when he's 12, while Bill's son Mark grows up to be a delinquent, and the acolyte of a sinister, guru-like artist who spawns murder in his wake. Spanning the hedonism of the eighties and the chill-out nineties, this multi-layered novel combines a plot of mounting menace with a deeply moving account of familial relationships and a superbly observed portrait of an artist, set against the backdrop of a society reaching new depths of depravity in its frenetic quest for the next fashion, drug and thrill.
'Breathtaking' - James Urquhart, Independent
'A love story with the grip and suspense of a thriller. It makes you ponder human existence with a peculiar mixture of stoicism and wonder.' - Noonie Minogue, Times Literary Supplement
'Defiantly complex and frequently dazzling ... she has created a conceptually exciting work that demands we think, but which still allows us room to feel.' - Alex Clark, Sunday Times
'Substantial, moving and beautifully written' - Christian House, Independent on Sunday
'A big, wide, sensuous novel - clever, sinister, yet attractively real' - Julie Myerson, Guardian
'A consummately intelligent novel, highly literate but also intensely moving.' - Jackie McGlone, Scotsman
'Riveting ... erudite and immensely detailed ... a rich, densely textured and utterly absorbing novel' - Lesley Glaister
'Subtle, compassionate, wise, and supremely intelligent, it's a striking achievement.' - Kieron Corless, Time Out
'Hustvedt ranks amongst the finest American writers working today' - Jennifer O'Connell, Sunday Business Post
'A powerful novel of love, loss and longing, exquisitely written' - Anne Donovan, Sunday Herald
Siri Hustvedt's first novel, The Blindfold, was published by Sceptre in 1993 and her second, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, followed in 1997. Both were highly acclaimed and translated around the world, while part of The Blindfold was made into a film (Of Women and Magic, directed by Claude Miller). Her third novel, What I Loved, was published in 2003 to even greater acclaim and has been an international success; her next novel, The Sorrows of American, followed in 2008. Her work has been published in The Paris Review, Fiction and The Best American Short Stories, and she is also the author of Reading To You, a poetry collection, and three collections of essays, Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, and A Plea for Eros, and a non-fiction work, The Shaking Woman: A History of My Nerves. Her most recent novel is The Summer Without Men. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Paul Auster.