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The Summer Without Men

The Summer Without Men

Hardback

By (author) Siri Hustvedt

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  • Publisher: Sceptre
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 224mm x 22mm | 348g
  • Publication date: 3 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1444710524
  • ISBN 13: 9781444710526
  • Illustrations note: 4 B&W
  • Sales rank: 83,011

Product description

Out of the blue, your husband of thirty years asks you for a pause in your marriage to indulge his infatuation with a young Frenchwoman. Do you: a) assume it's a passing affair and play along b) angrily declare the marriage over c) crack up d) retreat to a safe haven and regroup? Mia Fredricksen cracks up first, then decamps for the summer to the prairie town of her childhood, where she rages, fumes, and bemoans her sorry fate as abandoned spouse. But little by little, she is drawn into the lives of those around her: her mother and her circle of feisty widows; her young neighbour, with two small children and a loud, angry husband; and the diabolical pubescent girls in her poetry class. By the end of the summer without men, wiser though definitely not sadder, Mia knows what she wants to fight for and on whose terms. Provocative, mordant, and fiercely intelligent, The Summer Without Men is a gloriously vivacious tragi-comedy about women and girls, love and marriage, and the age-old war between the sexes - a novel for our times by one of the most acclaimed American writers.

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Author information

Siri Hustvedt's first novel, The Blindfold, was published by Sceptre in 1993. Since then she has published The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men and The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014. She is also the author of the poetry collection Reading To You, and four collections of essays: Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros and Living, Thinking, Looking, as well as the memoir The Shaking Woman: A History of My Nerves. Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has a PhD in English from Columbia University and in 2012 was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. www.sirihustvedt.net

Review quote

Siri Hustvedt is a novelist of great intelligence. She knows the ways of the world and of the heart ... THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN is a new departure. Despite its painful subject matter - marital rupture, encroaching death, the tormenting antics of malice-ridden girls - the novel is a mordant comedy. Lisa Appignanesi, The Observer a rich and intelligent meditation on female identity, written in beguiling lyrical prose ... heady and intoxicating Lucy Scholes, Sunday Times Hustvedt is a writer of luminous perception Jane Shilling, Telegraph It's a warm, affecting tale about love, loss and finding consolation in female friendship. Hustvedt captures both the absurdity and the tragedy of life Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler Hustvedt's intensely visual writing spans the generations. She can conjure up a child's realm of imaginary friends as evocatively as the brave face adopted by the elderly living in "a world of continual loss". The story of one woman regaining her own identity, it's by turns funny, moving and erudite, playfully reminding us of a contemporary Jane Austen. Claire Colvin, Daily Mail [Mia] is alarmingly funny and her narrative toys with the immediacy of the epistolary novel ... Events are coupled with commentary, commentary leads into event and temporal sequence is delightfully confused. Such digressive freedom is one of the pleasures of THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN, in which fiction, fantasy, and historical fact are interweaved. Stephanie Bishop, TLS THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN shows a mind alive, at work and boundlessly curious about the way people live and love. It is the kind of book with which to grapple and argue, to challenge and fight, but also with which to engage and at which to marvel. Jennifer Levasseuer, The Age Siri Hustvedt is an intelligent, intuitive, talented writer Lionel Shriver, Financial Times Distinctive and enthralling...The Summer Without Men is satire, full of brilliant disquisitions on all manner of things - the nature of love, the difference between men and women, the question of madness. But it is satire with a heart, a great big glorious heart, and I loved every minute of it. Sara Dowse, Canberra Times Spirited and intelligent. Sydney Morning Herald