Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

This is a very unusual novel ... once or twice I questioned whether I was actually reading a work of fiction as the book is, at times, a woman's diary, her letters written in another name, the testimony of (amongst others) her children, friends, and, importantly, the views of her partners in the hoax she pulls on the art world.

The style grew on me, it hardly mattered that the key matter in the book  - the hoax - was apparent from the start ... this is book about a woman troubled by mysogny, in particular, in the art world, but you can translate the context to many other settings!

Harry is also troubled by much more because, of course, she is a human being with all the strengths and frailties, and her actions are shaped by 'life'. This makes for a readable story in which Harry takes centre stage and kept me interest mainly because Hustvedt writes her key character's part with a raw honesty.

That said, this book is hard work but like most work of that sort, it's worth the effort.

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