Siri Hustvedt - A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473638891
    • Publication date:01 Dec 2016
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A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women

Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind

By Siri Hustvedt
Read by Caitlin Thorburn

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A trail-blazing and inspiring collection of essays on art, feminism, neuroscience, psychology by the internationally bestselling novelist Siri Hustvedt

A trail-blazing and inspiring collection of essays on art, feminism, neuroscience and psychology featuring The Delusions of Certainty, winner of the European Essay Prize 2019.

As well as being a prize-winning, bestselling novelist, Siri Hustvedt is widely regarded as a leading thinker in the fields of neurology, feminism, art criticism and philosophy. She believes passionately that art and science are too often kept separate and that conversations across disciplines are vital to increasing our knowledge of the human mind and body, how they connect and how we think, feel and see.

The essays in this volume - all written between 2011 and 2015 - are in three parts. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women brings together penetrating pieces on particular artists and writers such as Picasso, Kiefer and Susan Sontag as well as essays investigating the biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general. The Delusions of Certainty is an essay about the mind/body problem, showing how this age-old philosophical puzzle has shaped contemporary debates on many subjects and how every discipline is coloured by what lies beyond argument-desire, belief, and the imagination. The essays in the final section, What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition, tackle such elusive neurological disorders as synesthesia and hysteria. Drawing on research in sociology, neurobiology, history, genetics, statistics, psychology and psychiatry, this section also contains a profound consideration of suicide and a towering reconsideration of Kierkegaard. Together they form an extremely stimulating, thoughtful, wide-ranging exploration of some of the fundamental questions about human beings and the human condition, delivered with Siri Hustvedt's customary lucidity, vivacity and infectiously questioning intelligence.

Biographical Notes

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, The Shaking Woman: A History of My Nerves, and four collections of essays - Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros and Living, Thinking, Looking.

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 School and has written on art for the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph and several exhibition catalogues.

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  • ISBN: 9781473640177
  • Publication date: 01 Dec 2016
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  • Imprint: Sceptre
This is a phenomenal book. Its soul is in the connections it draws between disparate subjects, through which Hustvedt manages to shrink the world into something comprehensible. — Claire Kohda Hazelton, Guardian
A writer with an unusual blend of incisive intelligence, humour and imagination. There is a moving essay on the blurring of gender in Louise Bourgeois and a brilliantly comic analysis of Karl Ove Knausgaard . . . She is able to combine [a] personal perspective with erudite analysis and, as the personal perspective is at the forefront, she is always open to uncertainty, which she sees, rightly, as itself a political stance . . . as the complicated warnings of experts are decried and swaggering lies broadcast on the news, this kind of uncertainty matters more than ever . . . We are fortunate to have Hustvedt voicing doubt so intelligently. — Lara Feigel, Financial Times
It is obvious that hers is a great mind that is constantly exploring, searching, "becoming" . . . An impressive collection by a novelist who clearly loves the humanities, the sciences and the ancient art of storytelling. But Hustvedt is not only a writer. She is also a passionate reader and therein lies the secret of this book . . . Here is a great book that invites reading . . . not only to 'look at a woman writer looking at men looking at women', but also to look within, deep inside the recesses of our minds, so as to recognise the fascinating complexity but also the heartbreaking fragility of human existence. — Elif Shafak, Observer
[The Delusions of Certainty] reads like the work of a talented teacher who has the drive and the ability to organise and present - in an exceptionally clear, clean, even limpid voice - a monumental amount of abstract information. It's hard to overstate the pleasure and the comfort that such demystification provides the scientifically uninitiated; it does indeed make the world feel larger, more expansive, more alive to the touch — New York Times Book Review
Few writers eviscerate bias and flawed logic as elegantly and ruthlessly as Hustvedt . . . she expertly flays assertions about biological and psychological sex differences . . . Hustvedt does not resolve her many questions, but her exhilarating conclusion testifies to the virtues of doubt . . . Her work is cerebral but also warm, deeply felt. — Washington Post
[Hustvedt] impresses as a writer of blazing intelligence and curiosity . . . This is fertile and fascinating territory for scientists and humanists alike. — Prospect
[An] erudite collection . . . The book conveys the wide range of Hustvedt's reading as she focuses on the interstices between people; between disciplines; and between concepts such as art and science, truth and fiction, feeling and perception. The research is sound and the scholarship engaging, and the exacting prose turns humorous and almost warm when Hustvedt incorporates her personal reflections — Publishers Weekly
A wide-ranging, irreverent, and absorbing meditation on thinking, knowing, and being — Kirkus Reviews
Sceptre

Memories of the Future

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Sceptre

My Past Is a Foreign Country: A Muslim feminist finds herself

Zeba Talkhani
Authors:
Zeba Talkhani
Hodder & Stoughton

The Vanished Bride

Bella Ellis
Authors:
Bella Ellis
Yellow Kite

Anxiety is Your Superpower

Wendy Suzuki
Authors:
Wendy Suzuki

We live in an age of anxiety. Like an omnipresent yet invisible odour you've grown used to, anxiety has become a constant condition, a fact of life, and a distraction that undermines our quality of life. Dr Wendy Suzuki's ground-breaking research will show us that science tells us a very different story: yes, anxiety is unpleasant - it's meant to be - and in the debilitating extreme, what Wendy will call 'bad anxiety', it's destructive. But most of the anxiety that humans feel is essential - not only to survival, but for higher brain functions formerly thought to be put on hold during anxious moments, Wendy will provide two broad categories of neuroscience-based hacks for harnessing anxiety and facing it head-on. The first will help address and calm anxiety so that you can enjoy the productivity you will experience, and the second grouping of brain science hacks will enable readers to channel anxious feelings into six uses for good anxiety - from productivity, increased emotional intelligence and focus to creativity and confidence. Through Wendy's unique perspective as a neuroscientist, she will teach us how to flip anxiety on its head and offer a counterintuitive lens through which to understand how anxiety manifests in our everyday lives. The book will introduce a taboo breaking slant on anxiety: we will learn how it can be good for us and that once we learn how to play it at its own game, it can become our superpower!

John Murray

What is Real?

Adam Becker
Authors:
Adam Becker

Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna

Juliet Grames
Authors:
Juliet Grames
Hodder & Stoughton

The Science of Fate

Hannah Critchlow
Authors:
Hannah Critchlow

So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn't exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains - and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Did you know, for example, that:* You can carry anxieties and phobias across generations of your family?* Your genes and pleasure and reward receptors in your brain will determine how much you eat?* We can sniff out ideal partners with genes that give our offspring the best chance of survival?Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures - and looking at how we can alter what's in store for us. Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are - and empowers us to help shape a better future for ourselves and the wider world.

Hodder & Stoughton

Yes She Can

Ruth Davidson
Authors:
Ruth Davidson
Sceptre

Deeds Not Words

Helen Pankhurst
Authors:
Helen Pankhurst
Sceptre

The Delusions of Certainty

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Sceptre

What I Loved

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Sceptre

The Blazing World

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
John Murray

A Calendar of Love

George Mackay Brown
Authors:
George Mackay Brown
Hodder & Stoughton

Political Philosophy: All That Matters

Johanna Oksala
Authors:
Johanna Oksala
Sceptre

The Blindfold

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

Iris Vegan, a graduate student living alone and impoverished in New York, encounters four strong characters who fascinate and in different ways subordinate her: an inscrutable urban recluse who employs her to record the possessions of a murdered woman; a photographer whose eerie portrait of Iris takes on a life of its own; an old woman in hospital who tries to claim a remnant of the ailing Iris; and a professor she has an affair with. An exploration of female identity in an age when the old definitions - as some man's daughter/wife/mother - no longer apply, fuelled with eroticism and a sense of menace.

Sceptre

Living, Thinking, Looking

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Sceptre

A Plea For Eros

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Sceptre

The Enchantment of Lily Dahl

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

Lily Dahl is a heroine of the old school: tough, beautiful and brave. A nineteen-year-old waitress and aspiring actress living in Webster, Minnesota, she becomes enchanted by an exotic outsider - an artist from New York. Drawn into a world of erotic adventure, she finds herself the target of mysterious acts of madness as she strains against the confines of small town life.

Sceptre

The Sorrows of an American

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt
Sceptre

The Summer Without Men

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

Out of the blue, your husband of thirty years asks you for a pause in your marriage to indulge his infatuation with a young Frenchwoman.Do you:a) assume it's a passing affair and play alongb) angrily declare the marriage overc) crack upd) retreat to a safe haven and regroup?Mia Fredricksen cracks up first, then decamps for the summer to the prairie town of her childhood, where she rages, fumes, and bemoans her sorry fate as abandoned spouse. But little by little, she is drawn into the lives of those around her; her mother and her circle of feisty widows, her young neighbour, with two small children and a loud, angry husband; and the diabolical pubescent girls in her poetry class. By the end of the summer without men, wiser though definitely not sadder, Mia knows what she wants to fight for and on whose terms.Provocative, mordant, and fiercely intelligent, The Summer Without Men is a gloriously vivacious tragi-comedy about women and girls, love and marriage, and the age-old war between the sexes - a novel for our times by one of the most acclaimed American writers.