After Mia Fredricksen’s husband of thirty years asks for a pause – so he can indulge his infatuation with a young French colleague - she cracks up ‘briefly’, rages ‘deeply’, then decamps to her prairie childhood home.
There, gradually, she is drawn into the lives of those around her: her mother’s circle of feisty widows; the young woman next door; and the diabolical teenage girls in her poetry class. By the end of the summer without men, Mia knows what’s worth fighting for – and on whose terms.
Provocative, mordant, and fiercely intelligent, this is a gloriously vivacious tragi-comedy about women and girls, love and marriage, and the age-old war between the sexes.
About the Author
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 next novel, The Sorrows of an American, followed in 2008. 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, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, and A Plea for Eros, and a non-fiction work, The Shaking Woman: A History of My Nerves. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Paul Auster.
Sensitive and Funny in spite of the narrator’s personal trials (her husband’s betrayal, an elderly mother in a home, a writing class of hormones-ridden teenage girls). Hustvedt writes about (through Mia) how those issues affect us though they’re the ordinary lot of human relationships. With professional help, her own brand of humour and friendship, Mia will go through that summer, the summer without men.
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