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About the Author: Siri Hustvedt

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 themes or symbols throughout her work. Most notably the use of certain types of voyeurism, often linking objects of the dead to characters who are relative strangers to the deceased characters (most notable in various facits in her novels The Blindfold and The Enchantment of Lily Dahl) and the exploration of identity. She has also written essays on art history and theory (see "Essay collections") and painting and painters often appear in her fiction, most notably, perhaps, in her novel, What I Loved.

She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, writer Paul Auster, and their daughter, singer and actress Sophie Auster.

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Goodreads rating: 3.33

Paperback, by Sceptre

ISBN10: 1444720252 | ISBN13: 9781444720259

Page count: 216

Mia Fredrickson, the wry, vituperative, tragic comic, poet narrator, "has been forced to reexamine her own life. One day, out of the blue, after thirty years of marriage, Mia's husband, a renowned neuroscientist, asks her for a "pause."

This abrupt request sends her reeling and lands her in a psychiatric ward. The June following Mia's release from the hospital, she returns to the prairie town of her childhood, where her mother lives in an old people's home. Alone in a rented house, she rages and fumes and bemoans her sorry fate. Slowly, however, she is drawn into the lives of those around her--her mother and her close friends,"the Five Swans," and her young neighbor with two small children and a loud angry husband--and the adolescent girls in her poetry workshop whose scheming and petty cruelty carry a threat all their own.

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