I have told nearly everyone I love - and some random acquaintances - to stop whatever they are doing and read [Hustvedt's] new novel . . . The Blazing World is the playful, ebullient, brainy story of Harriet "Harry" Burden, an artist in her early sixties . . . The book is clearly a feminist undertaking but joyously, unpredictably so. Hustvedt eschews all feminist cliché. She throws herself into rich ambiguities . . . Hustvedt's novels have always been smart, accomplished, critically acclaimed but this one feels like a departure. There is more heat in it, more wildness; it seems to burst on to a whole other level of achievement and grace . . . the book will blaze through the world. Katie Roiphe Financial Times
Über den Autor
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.
Artist Harriet Burden, consumed by fury at the lack of recognition she has received from the New York art establishment, embarks on an experiment she calls Maskings: she hides her identity as a woman behind three male fronts who exhibit her work as their own. Except the last one claims that in fact the work was his - then dies in bizarre circumstances.
After Harriet's own death, an academic tries to get to the truth and here we have the result: Harriet's story unfolding through extracts from her notebooks, articles and reviews, and the testimony of her two children, her lover, a dear friend, and acquaintances. But as the different accounts emerge, the mysteries only multiply. Only one thing seems clear: Harriet Burden was an extraordinary woman who scorned convention. Was she also an extraordinary artist or a fake?
This is a tour de force from the internationally acclaimed author of What I Loved, an intricately conceived, diabolical puzzle that explores the way prejudice, fame, money, and desire influence our perceptions of one another. Emotionally intense, intellectually rigorous, ironic and playful, The Blazing World is as gripping as it is thought provoking.
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2014