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What I Loved
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What I Loved

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  11,967 Ratings  ·  1,026 Reviews
"What I Loved begins in New York in 1975, when art historian Leo Hertzberg discovers an extraordinary painting by an unknown artist in a SoHo gallery. He buys the work and tracks down the artist, Bill Wechsler, and the two men embark on a lifelong friendship." Leo's story, which spans twenty-five years, follows the evolution of the growing involvement between his family an ...more
Paperback, 391 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Picador (UK) (first published 2002)
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George The first third of the novel has little plot momentum, however the characters are well developed. A third of the way into the book a couple of…moreThe first third of the novel has little plot momentum, however the characters are well developed. A third of the way into the book a couple of significant events occur providing plot momentum. The story focuses on the contemporary art world in New York and coping with bringing up a dishonest child through adolescence to adulthood. I enjoyed the writing style, learning about the art world and appreciating the characters for who they are.(less)

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Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have rarely read a novel of such intensity. And it touches on so much: the art world as well as art itself, relationships of many kinds, family, love, loss, psychology and the outsider, the world that is New York City, personas......much more that I'm forgetting (or avoiding for spoilers sake). But then is is titled "What I Loved" and it lives up to it's title.

In addition to being one of the most intense reading experiences, in many ways this has been one of the most unusual. At times I felt
Nov 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written and a realistic insight into the difficulties of parenthood and relationships.

A story with interesting and intelligent character development. I enjoyed watching the characters grow and how the author developed and shaped the characters over a number of years.
This really is a study of relationships and how they develop between husbands and wives, family and friends over the course of a number of years and how love, and loss can change the course of friendships.

I enjoyed the r
Camille Stein
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I Loved


Pero todos vivimos aquí, pensé para mis adentros, en esas historias imaginarias que nos relatamos sobre nuestras vidas.

Escribir es un modo de localizar mi hambre. Y el hambre no es sino un vacío.


Leo Hertzberg, el observador que atisba a través del agujero de su propia vida, reordena una y otra vez los preciosos objetos que atesora en un cajón, frutos y huellas de una existencia que se le escapa entre los dedos, tratando de conjugar a través del lenguaje el torrente de la memoria que lo
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book, favorites
Superbly written…a very enjoyable novel that left me feeling introspective. The characters were so beautifully portrayed…so authentic that I hated to say goodbye. The narrator is Leo, an art historian who forms a long-lasting friendship with the painter, Bill Wechsler. These two men and their families remain friends for over 25 years. It’s a story filled with passionate love affairs as well as tragic loss, grief and heartbreak. I was so moved by this sometimes sad, sometimes sentimental, yet nev ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What I Loved? This book!

Intense and engrossing, What I Loved could also be titled What We'll Do for Love or What Love Will Do To Us for it explores the psychology of friendships, intimate and family relationships and the actions people take for the sake of love. But I get ahead of myself . . .

This is the story of two friends, their spouses and the son each couple has, told over the last three decades of the 20th century in a reminiscence by one of the friends, Columbia professor and art histori
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Paul Auster fans and 1001 book readers
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: Kingfan30
I love Paul Auster. Having discovered him through the joys of the 1001 books list, I've now read almost everything he ever wrote and just when I was getting to the end of his stuff and wondering how I could get my hands on more Paul Auster stuff (short of holding a gun to his head and forcing him to write faster), along comes the literary off-shoot of Auster that is Siri Hustvedt. What!? I hear you yell in supportive indignation for Mrs Auster and her right to be recognised as a successful and t ...more
I never learn. This book had been knocking around the house for a while, but I hadn't really been interested in reading it, due to a combination of factors but primarily because a) the cover didn't interest me and b) one of the most prominent quotes on the jacket describes it as 'a love story'. As I've said before, while I always appreciate well-written relationships/romances in books, defining something purely as a love story is pretty much a surefire way to put me off. So it was for no particu ...more
Carolee Wheeler
Oct 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: art history buffs; sensory people; reluctant pessimists
Recommended to Carolee by: 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die
Shelves: re-read
Because I've been engaged in a book club with three others--one who likes fiction, one who likes it with reservations, and a third who views it with trepidation--I've been thinking about why I like fiction so much. Modern fiction, classic fiction, whatever--what always draws me is the way human nature is portrayed. What does it mean to be human? Is it sad, broken, lonely, joyful, complicated? Yes.

This book is, for me, the dream of fiction, in that it tells us a story, and transports us, while at
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-2015, favorites
Among other things, Siri Hustvedt questions in this book the concept of contemporary art. Evidently a connoisseur and an admirer, I think she wants to highlight through her imaginary world that there is a difference between real art and what people take for art nowadays: Teddy Giles, “a wanna-be artist” whose portrait is insisted upon in the second half of the book, bases all his projects on people’s reactions to violence and to matters that are only meant to shock, rather than have an artistic ...more
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2015: The Year of...: What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt 43 87 Dec 14, 2015 02:54PM  
Violet 4 47 Aug 09, 2015 05:13AM  
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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 about Siri Hustvedt...
“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.” 67 likes
“When I spoke to her, I had the feeling that her thoughts had been nourished in wide-open spaces where talk was sparse and silence ruled.” 18 likes
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