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The opening pages of Siri Hustvedt’s new book contain a warning: ‘If you are one of those readers who relishes memoirs filled with impossibly specific memories, I have this to say: those authors who claim perfect recall of their hash browns decades later are not to be trusted.'
Hustvedt’s seventh novel, Memories of the Future, is a work of autofiction – incorporating aspects of her real life alongside imagined events. The book's protagonist is a 60-something-year-old writer who shares Hustvedt's initials, S.H. When S.H. rediscovers the journal she wrote in the 1970s as a young woman newly arrived in New York City, she finds an unsettling gap between the journal’s account and what she remembers.
It's funny, insightful and everything readers have come to expect from the prolific Hustvedt. As well as a novelist, she's an accomplished essayist, critic, translator and scholar with a deep interest in art, psychoanalysis and neuroscience. Her novels (including What I Loved and The Blazing World) often turn around mysteries – both at the level of plot, and in her preoccupation with the philosophical puzzles of memory and consciousness.
At the Athenaeum Theatre in May, she’ll discuss the symbiosis of art and life.
Siri Hustvedt is the author of seven novels including the international besteller What I Loved, The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and Memories of the Future, as well as five collections of essays: Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros, Living, Thinking, Looking and A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women. She has also published a poetry collection, Reading To You, and the memoir The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves.
Hustvedt has won the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities and the European Essay Prize for her essay The Delusions of Certainty. She is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and has written on art for the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph. Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt lives in Brooklyn, New York.