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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 a book of poetry, six essay collections, a work of non-fiction and seven novels, including The Blazing World and Memories of the Future. She has a PhD from Columbia University in English Literature and is a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. The Blazing World was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. Siri has been awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities, the Prix Européen de L’essai Charles Veillon from the Fondation Charles Veillon, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature in Spain. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. Siri lives in Brooklyn, New York.