24 Sep 2013

The Sorrows of an American, by Siri Hustvedt




I think that I may well have written before about one of Siri Hustvedt's books and probably it was What I loved, which was marvelous and deeply moving. I have just finished, and for the second time, this book called "The Sorrows of an American".

The fact that I was able to read the book twice within a couple of years and still consider it to be a constant journey of discovery speaks well enough of the density and richness of this book, as of the quality of the writing.

Hustvedt is clearly deeply fascinated by and knowledgeable about many things to do with the brain and its complex workings, as well as the part played by memory and various obsessions on our conscious and unconscious existences.

As a woman writer, she is also able to place herself in the shoes of a male narrator without any difficulty, and she also navigates constantly and interestingly between reality and fantasy, past and present, drama and comedy. The book and its subject matter is intense and yet s easy and fascinating to read. It is often beautiful and moving.

The commentary that can just be seen on my photograph of the cover, by Salman Rushdie, is totally warranted, so, to make it easier for you, I will reproduce it here : "Hustvedt is that rare artist, a writer of high intelligence, profound sensuality and a less easily definable capacity for which the only word I can find is wisdom". I agree with him.

Go for this...

and read on...