Siri Hustvedt in Conversation with Paul Auster

Siri Hustvedt in Conversation with Paul Auster

June 14: 7:00PM 8:00PM

Spend the evening in the Rare Books Room with acclaimed author Siri Hustvedt. Hustvedt has written five novels including The Enchantments of Lily Dahl, and more recently, The Summer Without Men. This evening, she will discuss her new book of provocative essays entitled, Living, Thinking, Looking, which covers a wide range of topics from an investigation into a neurological disorder to discussions on artists at the Prado and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She will be in conversation with novelist, poet, essayist and translator Paul Auster.

Buy the featured book or a $10 Strand gift card at the registers or at the door in order to attend this event. All options admit one person. Please note that online orders require payment at the time of checkout to guarantee admission. The event will be located in the Strand's 3rd floor Rare Book Room at our store at 828 Broadway at 12th Street.

Additional copies of the book (and previous books by the author, when applicable) will be available for purchase at the event.

Staff Pick

View All

Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays by Siri Hustvedt

Nora R.

Hustvedt's training in academia (she has a PhD in English literature from Coumbia) and her career as a novelist combine to make her the perfectly rounded essayist, probingly intelligent and yet not dismissive of the more ambiguous realms of feeling. In this indispensable new volume of collected work, both qualities shine through. Hustvedt writes movingly and deftly on every subject she touches, from the difference between fiction and memoir to the differences in fatherhood and motherhood. Never posturing or pedantic, Hustvedt wears her learning lightly and is always an approachable, companionable voice on the page.

The collection is organized just as the title suggests, into a section informed more by personal experiences (Living), a section revolving around philosophical questions (Thinking), and a final section on the experience of art (Looking). Some pieces are short, suggestive sketches focusing on one brief idea, while others range across ambitious territory at length. Always they are emotionally sensitive and intellectually rigorous, and the reader who journeys with Hustvedt across the terrain will be well-rewarded. These are essays that cover the full range of life, from our emotional bonds to our parents to our intellectual engagement with the world as we strive to find our place within it. Writing of psychoanalysis, Hustvedt says "After my analyst's interpretation, I have often felt a jolt of recognition, which is never merely an intellectualization but always has a felt meaning," and the same can aptly be said of her own work's impact. Every page has passages to quote and treasure, and this should be considered indispensable for the reader with an inquisitive mind. It places Hustvedt in the top rank of thinkers today and impresses and engages at every turn.