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What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

What I Loved

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A book you will either love or hate, find long and tedious or be captivated and charmed. It is the story of two families involved in New York’s artistic life and reflected upon by a half-blind, elderly Jewish professor who has memories of pre-war Germany and relatives exterminated by the Nazis. His American life is full of tragedy too. This is a powerful, highly intelligent book.

Comparison: Donna Tartt, Matthew Kneale, Paul Auster.

If you like Siri Hustvedt you might also like to read books by Paul Auster, Donna Tartt and Matthew Kneale.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

This is the story of two men who first become friends in 1970s New York, of the women in their lives, and of their sons, born the same year. Both Leo Hertzberg, an art historian, and Bill Weschler, a painter, are cultured, decent men, but neither is equipped to deal with what happens to their children – Leo`s son drowns when he`s 12, while Bill`s son Mark grows up to be a delinquent, and the acolyte of a sinister, guru-like artist who spawns murder in his wake. Spanning the hedonism of the eighties and the chill-out nineties, this multi-layered novel combines a plot of mounting menace with a deeply moving account of familial relationships and a superbly observed portrait of an artist, set against the backdrop of a society reaching new depths of depravity in its frenetic quest for the next fashion, drug and thrill.


'A love story with the grip and suspense of a thriller. It makes you ponder human existence with a peculiar mixture of stoicism and wonder.'- Noonie Minogue, Times Literary Supplement

'Defiantly complex and frequently dazzling ... she has created a conceptually exciting work that demands we think, but which still allows us room to feel.' - Alex Clark, Sunday Times

'Substantial, moving and beautifully written' - Christian House, Independent on Sunday

About the Author

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. 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 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, MSYTERIES OF THE RECTANGLE: Essays on Painting, and A PLEA FOR EROS. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Photograph © Sigrid Estrada

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Book Info

Publication date

28th December 2006


Siri Hustvedt

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