The Sorrows of an American
When Erik Davidsen and his sister, Inga, find a disturbing note from an unknown woman among their dead father’s papers, they believe he may be implicated in a mysterious death. The Sorrows of an American tells the stor...more
This is unfortunate for the American writer, whose novels -- New York-based psychological and philosophical dramas -- are often fiercely praised by critics.
The central theme of her latest novel, Sorrows Of An American, is captured in the books opening sentence: "My sister called it the 'year of secrets,' but when...more
Critics were impressed by Hustvedt's last novel, What I Loved (2003), and enjoyed The Sorrows of an American for the same reasons. The author creates cerebral, educated characters and allows them to fully express themselves without seeming preachy or stuffy. Her novels explore psychological themes while also keeping the reader's attention with engaging (if complicated) plots. While a few reviewers thought that The Sorrows of an American seems too similar to Hustvedt's last book, that the secrets...more
A good friend and avid reader shared this novel with me. I am sure she waiting my reaction. I do not know. The novel does a great job of indicating our present lives are the accumulation of our past experiences and even the past lives o...more
And no one's asking Cal about that scar upon his face
'Cause there's nothin' strange about an axe with bloodstains in the barn,
There's always some killin' you got to do around the farm
Murder in the red barn
Murder in the red barn
- Tom Waits
That song keeps playing in my head throughout The Sorrows Of An American - even though it's long unclear whether there's a murder in it at all. Apart from that one September, 2001 mass-murder that tu...more
"Cher Lars, je sais que tu ne diras jamais rien de ce qui s'est passé. Nous l'avons juré sur la BIBLE. Ça ne peut plus avoir d'importance maintenant qu'elle est au ciel, ni pour ceux qui sont ici sur terre. J'ai confiance en ta promesse. Lisa."
Qui est cette femme et de quel...more
Erik D. is a tall, white, intelligent, pleasant and faintly dull therapist. He's middle-aged, divorced, and wondering if he'll always stay lonely when life starts taking some bizarre turns.
He's getting lightly stalked by a photographer once involved with a lady who now lives in his building. His sister Inga is embroiled with her deceased novelist husband's ex-lover/muse who is threatening to sell their old love letters. And bot...more
His sister, Inga, was married to a famous writer, Max, who has recently died, and they chat about what it’s like to be in love with a writer and how you kind of fall in love with them through their writing.
And then there is Miranda’s ex, who is stalking her but using the surreptitious photos he takes in an a...more
Perhaps novels are ghosts of a kind: words unattached to flesh that speak to us as vividly as life. Today, reading about the upcoming publication of Carl Jung's 'Red Book,' I thought of another observation made by Erik Davidsen: '…[T:]he distance needed for humor is always missing from dreams...more
“Dream economies are frugal. The smoking sky on September eleventh, the television images from Iraq, the bombs that burst on the beach where my father had dug himself a trench in February 1945 burned in unison on the familiar ground of rural Minnesota. Three detonations. Three men of three generations together in a house that was going to pieces, a house I had inherited, a house that shuddered and shook like my sobbing niece and my own besieged body, inner catacly...more
Despite its relatively slow pace,...more
Este libro habla de la memoria y de los recuerdos, de los secretos del pasado y de la melancolía del presente. Dos hermanos, Inga...more
The Sorrows of an American was more solidly grounded, had a less intricate plot, and had more understandable characters. The book follows the psychiatrist Erik Davidsen in the year after his father dies. Seeking to so...more
There is no structure, just fragments, which adds to the dreamlike effect and which makes it quite easy to read at a leisurely pace. I...more
Also, for my taste, the influence that our parents and their pasts have on our own life and...more
"'Our own father used to talk about city slickers,' I said, smiling at my sister. 'But every perceived difference, no matter how slight, can become an argument for Otherness--money, education, skin color, religion, political party, hairstyle, anything. Enemies are enlivening. Evil-doers, jihadists, barbarians. Hatred is exciting and contagious and conveniently eliminates all ambiguity. You just spew your own garbage on to someone els...more
Hustvedt has mainly made...more