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 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 AN 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.
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