July 05 , 2007




Sparkling essays on a variety of subjects – literature, art, popular culture, autobiography – by a renowned young American novelist.

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The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves

In this unique neurological memoir Siri Hustvedt attempts to solve her own mysterious conditionWhile speaking at a memorial event for her father in 2006, Siri Hustvedt suffered a violent seizure from the neck down. Despite her flapping arms and shaking legs, she continued to speak clearly and was able to finish her speech. It was as if she…

In her brilliant and daring novels The Blindfold and The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, Siri Hustvedt has won critical acclaim and a rapidly expanding international audience. But she is also a wide-ranging essayist and critic, frequently reexamining in her fascinating nonfiction many of the central leitmotifs of her fiction.

The six pieces in Yonder, Hustvedt's first book of essays, are all meditations on the complex relationship between art and the world. They include a personal essay on memory and place, which investigates the images we retain from our lives, the lives of others in the world, and the lives of characters in books. In "Vermeer's Annunciation," Hustvedt gives an entirely original interpretation of the Vermeer painting Woman with a Pearl Necklace. In "Ghosts at the Table," she examines the essence of still life as a genre in painting from Cotan and Chardin to Philip Guston. Other essays include a profound piece about Dickens, a reassessment of The Great Gatsby, and a witty and provocative assault on contemporary pieties entitled "A Plea for Eros."

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