Un été sans les hommes
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Un été sans les hommes

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  3,458 ratings  ·  474 reviews
Lorsque, après trente ans de mariage, Boris prononce le tant redouté mot pause, Mia, poétesse en mal de reconnaissance, bascule dans la folie, le temps d’une fulgurante “bouffée délirante” qui lui vaut un torpide séjour en hôpital psychiatrique. Car cette pause recouvre une réalité douloureuse : elle s’incarne en la personne d’une jeune et fraîche neuroscientifique à la po...more
Paperback, 215 pages
Published May 4th 2011 by Actes Sud (first published April 26th 2006)
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oriana
My latest for CCLaP!

I will admit that I can be very smug. I've been obsessively immersed in books for so long now that I tend to have opinions on everything literary, founded or un-. So of course I had an opinion about Siri Hustvedt, wife of Paul Auster, posed kind of ridiculously in her author photo, with her black turtleneck and piercing stare, writer of--what? I'm not sure what I thought she wrote, mainstream-ish fiction for smart moms, maybe? Stuff like The Time Traveler's Wife or The Memory...more
Teresa
4 and 1/2 stars

This is a 'mature' novel that's very aware of itself as being a novel, though the fictional narrator is writing her own story. It's also both more and less than a novel, with more discourses than plot (which the narrator herself points out more than halfway through) and, going against what we've been taught about fiction, it's more telling than showing -- and it all works. As Francine Prose writes in Reading Like a Writer (using an an Alice Munro story as an example) : "There are...more
switterbug (Betsey)
The front cover of the advanced reader's copy I hold in my hand depicts a woman, dynamically in flight, yet with an image of dismemberment, as the title takes the place of the woman's trunk. Hustvedt is no stranger to dismemberment, both in fiction and in life. If you peer into her history with novelist husband, Paul Auster, you will note that she has a stepson with a troubled past that features dismemberment, although once removed. In THE BLINDFOLD, the main character, Iris (Siri spelled backwa...more
Zornitsa
Подходих към книгата съвсем добронамерено, защото "Какво обичах" ми беше харесала (но пък кое ли не изглежда по-добре, когато го четеш по време на деветчасово пътуване с автобус!).
От "Лятото без мъже" ми стана някак обидно - не толкова заради баналния сюжет (пренебрегната жена на средна възраст успява да се почувства щастлива без мъжа си, като заздравява връзката си с майка си и други жени от различни поколения, задължително намесени ръкоделие и поезия или живопис, после мъжът й се връща гузен-г...more
Joan Winnek
I loved this book as much as all the other books by Siri Hustvedt I've read, and didn't really find the ending all that abrupt, as I've known situations like this in life. The narrator returns to her home town for a summer as a kind of retreat, and engages herself with her mother and her four friends in Rolling Meadows East, and with a group of seven pubescent girls in a poetry class she teaches, and with her next-door neighbor and her two children. The comparisons of the various stages of life...more
Antonomasia
Polymathic chicklit with a PhD: something I'd been hoping to find for ten years. Some time ago I had concluded it just didn't get published as there wasn't enough of an audience.

I'd never read Siri Hustvedt before, assuming that her books were yet more run-of-the-mill English-language literary fiction. (The rest of her work does still sound that way to me, TBH.) But a few weeks ago I idly clicked on Amazon reviews for this book, and among the more negative ones, it was criticised by chicklit rea...more
Jasmine
"we are all dying one by one"

*warning weird seemingly irrelevant review ahead, but it seemed relevant at the time*

A long time ago I was a child. Okay not that long ago. I was a weird child, who grew into a weird adult.

But back when I was a child once my aunt showed me my IEP. For those of you who didn't spend any time in the special ed room an IEP is an education plan that, well it says what the special ed department intends to do about your particular annoyingness and what they think caused it...more
Christian Hanne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Leopoldina
Predictably, given Hustvedt's stature in the literary community, this novel has garnered extremely favourable reviews. Unfortunately, the novel itself does not live up to the hyperbole. The work of some authors you just really want to like. For me, Hustvedt is one of these. She can write well, she occasionally takes 'risks' (or what seem like them), and she is erudite and self-effacing in person (ok, i heard her read and talk once, and i was swooning).
The narrator of this novel, Mia Frederickson...more
Ing
I started this book with the feeling that I would enjoy it a lot. I didn't. It's not a bad novel and I can certainly see how many people enjoy it, but the problem for me was that the characters felt like they weren't fleshed out enough. I didn't get a connection to Mia as the main character. I thought the widows has potential to be interesting, but too little attention was paid to them to make me truly connect. I thought that the young girls in the poetry class were the ones that were characteri...more
Anna Ryan-Punch
I know it's an early call, but this might just be my favourite book of 2011. It is hilarious, intensely moving, beautiful, ugly and honest. It struck home on so many occasions I came out feeling like I'd been run through with hundreds of perfectly realised spears.

It surprised how I think about narrative. The effortless way Hustvedt jumps from introspection to narrative, from explication to description, is endlessly inventive and almost always successful. She writes like a novelist should write p...more
Bette BookAddict
My second Hustvedt book and although I did like it better than The Sorrows of an American, I don't feel compelled to read any more of her novels. Mia's relationships with her elderly mother and the 'Four Swans' (mother's friends) is quite lovely. But the writer's habit of quoting and ruminating of historical authors, while relevant, is too long winded.

My copy has some paragraphs which run for four or five pages each and I found this to be tiring: felt like I was running out of breath and kept lo...more
Jill
Mia Frederickson, an award-winning poet in midlife, tumbles into a temporary madness when her husband Boris surprises her with his request for a marital pause. The pause, of course, "was French with limp but shiny brown hair" and "significant breasts that were real."

So starts this mordant comedy from Siri Hustvedt, a novelist of considerable talent. Mia finds herself eventually caught between a continuum of women -her mother and the other octogenarian widows whom she promptly dubs "the five swan...more
Brian
This book was NOT 192 pages....anyhow...I read another book by this author, so when I saw this galley at work, I jumped to take it. That being said, it was a confusing, meandering read that had many good qualities, but a lot of bad ones as well. The main plot is about a woman whose husband cheats on her, so she goes a big looney and ends up in the mental ward. She then moves back home with her older mother, and hangs out with her mother's elderly friends who are all ailing and/or dying, a next d...more
Kristin
This is the first "adult" book I've read since being in YA class. "The Summer without Men" is written by an author who has a PhD in English Literature, and the main character is an English professor and poet. What does this mean to the novel? Well, it means that the main character/narrator's voice is elevated to heights so great that a person needs to read the novel with dictionary in hand, and Google within her sights. The story is simple - a poet and a "world-famous neuroscientist" have been m...more
Rhena
Originally posted on Snapshot Inkblot Whatnot

Even before I had a copy of any book by Siri Hustvedt, I was already keen on liking her prose mainly because Bennard said I would love her. Which, for all I know, is a contrived effort to make Hustvedt my new favorite author--Hustvedt that is wife to Paul Auster, one of Bennard's favorites. Well, planned or not, it appears that he is right. I loved Hustvedt instantly, the love-at-first-few-pages kind.

Aside from being my first novel by new favorite aut...more
Felicity
This book is brilliant. Siri Hustvedt is not about to hit my list of favorite authors (I've read some of her other stuff, but can't remember it at all) but this book is about to hit my list of top-ten best books of all time (OK, maybe that's a list of twenty books. But you get my drift...) Why? This is a novel. I sat there with a pencil and I have marked up and dog-eared pages of this slim volume simply so that I can go back and wallow in the pleasure of reading some of Hustvedt's elegant senten...more
Blair
I probably never would have read this if it hadn't been for the other Siri Hustvedt books I've read, What I Loved and The Sorrows of an American. I've got to admit that the title and premise didn't really appeal to me, sounding as they do like highbrow chick-lit. The basic outline of the story is this: Mia, a poet in her fifties, has a nervous breakdown when her scientist husband tells her he wants a 'pause' in their marriage in order for him to start an affair with a younger colleague. After re...more
Danielle
the protagonist finds herself husband-less without notice. she doesn't take that very well and loses a screw...a tiny screw that which is later replaced.

this book explores the youth, the aging, and the now.

i enjoyed the book and it's feminist undertone (girl power!), but i could've done without the history lessons (felt like i was back in college) and poetry. i hate when authors use their characters to flaunt their own ideologies. i like the use of my own mind to learn what it needs to learn.

i...more
Doreen
Mia Fredrickson, a middle-aged experimental poet, is told by Boris, her husband of thirty years, that he wants a pause from their marriage. After a brief psychotic break which leads to a stay in a psychiatric facility, she leaves New York for her hometown in Minnesota. For the summer she becomes immersed in an all-female world: she teaches a poetry class to seven tween girls, gets to know the Five Swans, her mother’s feisty octogenarian friends, and becomes acquainted with a neighbour, a mother...more
Brigid
I must say that this book did the extraordinary: embarrass me in public with a cover that screamed estrogen and midlife crisis, and yet hide between the covers a story intellectualized at such a bizarrely logorrheic distance as to defy all yearning toward emotive content. So I was poring over dense text, and looking like I was reading fluff. What kind of sadist would pair these two?

It's a story of a woman facing a divorce, which I've discovered is not a topic I am remotely interested in (YA char...more
Sabine
Mia und Boris sind seit Jahren ein Paar. Alles scheint gut zu laufen, daher bricht für Mia auch eine Welt zusammen, als Boris sich eine Auszeit wünscht und sich von ihr trennt. Mia verkraftet dies nicht, findet sich in der Psychiatrie wieder und erholt sich nur langsam von ihrem Zusammenbruch. Nun braucht sie eine Pause und zieht sich zurück – zu ihrer Mutter, die zwar in einem Altenheim lebt, dort aber regen Kontakt zu anderen älteren Damen pflegt. Mia lernt die Frauen kennen mit ihren Geschich...more
Kats
Mia Frederickson, 55 year old poet, recently scorned by her husband who has asked to enjoy a "Pause" (aka an attractive, young French scientist he works with), has gone to spend the summer in Minnesota in a small town where she grew up. There she spends time with her aging mother and friends in a residential care community, with her 27 year old neighbour and her young family and finally with 7 teenage girls who are taking a poetry class with Mia. There is lots of back and forth, and as I was sli...more
SwensonBooks
Don’t let the jacket copy and title fool you. No chick lit fodder beckons in Siri Hustvedt’s newest fiction: The Summer Without Men (Picador, April 26, 2011).

The antics of Mia Fredrickson’s young and turbulent neighbors, the adolescent girls in her poetry workshop, and her mother’s senior circle composed of the wise and nurturing “Five Swans” provides the context for deep intellectual passages and keeps The Summer Without Men light enough for summer reading lists. Mia is one of those intelligent...more
Kathryn Bashaar
I both loved and hated this book. The things that annoyed me:
1. My first annoyance can be summed up in the last sentence of the book: "Let him come to me." The main character, Mia, has no agency whatsoever in her marriage. Boris deserts her, she goes nuts for a while, she spends a summer with her mom, her mom's friends, some poetry students and a neighbor, and then Boris more or less randomly comes back to her. Women writers complain that we aren't taken as seriously as male writers. Maybe it's...more
Kasa Cotugno
I have been a fan of Siri Hustvedt since her amazing novel, What I Loved, which I loved. But since then, she has not attained the heights that novel reached. Unfortunately.

Mia has it all -- a PhD in comp lit, a job at Columbia, a reputation as a published, award winning poet. And yet, her husband's defection into the arms of a younger woman, a colleague with a good brain and limp shiny hair, sends Mia into a tailspin. This is the stuff of chicklit at its most self absorbent. As tht\e title inf...more
Ricky
The Summer Without Men sounds girly, doesn’t it? It reminds me of the line from the film Miss Congeniality, “Chick flick, didn’t see it”.


Would a man want to read this? Probably not. A man probably did, however, since the author Siri Hustvedt is married to Paul Auster. One would assume, two writers living in a Manhattan apartment with a kid, that they probably spend their evenings typing in separate alcoves before moving their laptops out of the way and pulling out the Murphy bed. Auster probably...more
Jenny
Jag funderade länge på att läsa Sommaren utan män innan jag faktiskt gjorde en ansträngning för att köpa den. Varför det tog en sådan tid berodde dels på att jag inte gillade beskrivningen av boken. Det påminner lite om chick lit – en genre som jag inte riktigt förstår mig på. Dels hittade jag aldrig en framsida som jag riktigt gillade. Ytligt, jag vet, men så är det ibland. När jag var på ICA häromdagen såg jag Nordstedts version, som ni kan se ovan, och fastnade direkt för den. Mycket snygg. J...more
Cheri
My thinking was this: I love Paul Auster's books, and Paul Auster surely must love his wife, Siri Hustvedt, and since she too writes, perhaps I will love her books, too?

While I didn't necessarily enjoy this novel as much, I did quite enjoy it. I will definitely be reading more of her work. She's a fantastic creator of story, character, emotional context -- context in general! -- and definitely worth reading.


I loved this passage especially, since personally, I've been waiting for the other boot...more
Rachel
For me it was not a summer without men but rather with men only, 4 males under the same roof. Reading books was my way to escape a climate too heavily loaded with testosterone. This was my first read by Siri Hustvedt and I quite enjoyed it, it was light and I could easily warm up to Mia the main character. A women in her 50s going away for the summer after a psychotic episode of delirium, having to go through the abandonned middle age, wife syndrome and her husband Boris falling for a younger mo...more
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North East Readers: The Summer Without Men 4 8 Nov 01, 2011 01:08AM  
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40851
Hustvedt was born in Northfield, Minnesota. Her father Lloyd Hustvedt was a professor of Scandinavian literature, and her mother Ester Vegan emigrated from Norway at the age of thirty. She holds a B.A. in history from St. Olaf College and a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University; her thesis on Charles Dickens was entitled Figures of Dust: A Reading of Our Mutual Friend.

Hustvedt has mainly made...more
More about Siri Hustvedt...
What I Loved The Sorrows of an American The Blazing World The Blindfold The Enchantment of Lily Dahl

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“There is no future without a past, because what is to be cannot be imagined except as a form of repetition.” 19 likes
“Reading is a private pursuit; one that takes place behind closed doors.” 15 likes
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