Siri Hustvedt

in Northfield, Minnesota, The United States
February 19, 1955


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 her name as a novelist, but she has also produced a book of poetry, and has had short stories and essays on various subjects published in (among others) The Art of the Essay, 1999, The Best American Short Stories 1990 and 1991, The Paris Review, Yale Review, and Modern Painters.

Like her husband Paul Auster, Hustvedt employs a use of repetitive them

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“I don't want the words to be naked the way they are in faxes or in the computer. I want them to be covered by an envelope that you have to rip open in order to get at. I want there to be a waiting time -a pause between the writing and the reading. I want us to be careful about what we say to each other. I want the miles between us to be real and long. This will be our law -that we write our dailiness and our suffering very, very carefully.”
Siri Hustvedt, What I Loved

“Every sickness has an alien quality, a feeling of invasion and loss of control that is evident in the language we use about it.”
Siri Hustvedt, The Shaking Woman, or A History of My Nerves

“There is no future without a past, because what is to be cannot be imagined except as a form of repetition.”
Siri Hustvedt, The Summer Without Men


What should our March non-fiction read be? (Essays)

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42 total votes

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