After their fathers funeral, Erik and Inga Davidsen find a cryptic letter from an unknown woman among his papers, dating from his adolescence in rural Minnesota during the Depression. Returning to his psychiatric practice in New York, Erik sets about reading his fathers memoir, hoping to discover the man he never fully understood. At the same time, another woman enters Eriks lonely, divorced life a beautiful Jamaican who moves into his garden flat with her small daughter. As Erik gets drawn into the cat-and-mouse tactics of someone who appears to be stalking her, he finds out that his sister Inga is also being threatened, by a journalist in possession of a wounding secret from her past. A multi-layered novel that probes the mysteries of the heart and mind, THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN is compulsive, thought-provoking and profoundly affecting a novel that resonates long beyond the last page.
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'It is a rare writer who can both rouse the mind and grip the heart, and all the while provide the sensuous delights of image and language. In her new novel, as in WHAT I LOVED, Siri Hustvedt does that and more ... a book that's almost impossible to put down, and even harder not to re-read' -- Lisa Appignanesi, Independent 'Beautifully thought through, deeply serious and enormously intelligent' -- Jane Smiley, Guardian 20080530 'This passionately conceived, coolly delivered work is almost certainly the best American novel you will read all year ... not to be missed' -- Melissa Katsoulis, Sunday Telegraph 20080525 'A mystery story that develops into a subtle and complex novel ... sharp, confident, tolerant and civilised' -- Tom Deveson, Sunday Times 20080525 'This novel is easily described as wonderful ... THE SORROWS OF AN AMERICAN feels like a very personal story and is all the more intimate for it ... her skill lies in convincing the reader that we have seen right inside someone's soul' -- Viv Groskop, Observer 20080501 'For all its cerebral riches, this novel is composed with superb artistry, Hustvedt handles the numerous interlocking narratives with immense skill... It is proof of Hustvedt's talent that the terrors of this novel feel real' -- John de Falbe, Literary Review 20080509 'This satisfying and emotionally rich follow-up to Ms Hustvedt's acclaimed WHAT I LOVED treads some similar themes: love and loss; the limits of perception; the drama of dreams; and the need to craft coherent stories from the unreliable fragments of memory. As with her previous novel, Ms Hustvedt's cerebral characters are tenderly drawn, wise and realistic ... a beautifully sincere examination of the grim traps of over-active minds' -- Economist 20080509 'A novel of deep wisdom and storytelling' -- Lucy Beresford in New Statesman 20080717
About Siri Hustvedt
Siri Hustvedt's first novel, THE BLINDFOLD, was published by Sceptre in 1993 and her second, THE ENCHANTMENT OF LILY DAHL, followed in 1997. Her third novel, WHAT I LOVED, was published in 2003 to great acclaim and has been an international bestseller. 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. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband Paul Auster.
The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt
Used - Very Good
Hodder & Stoughton General Division
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