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The Summer without Men

The Summer without Men

Paperback

By (author) Siri Hustvedt

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  • Publisher: Sceptre
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 133mm x 197mm x 16mm | 166g
  • Publication date: 3 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1444710540
  • ISBN 13: 9781444710540
  • Edition statement: Trade Paperback.
  • Illustrations note: 4 B&W
  • Sales rank: 26,629

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 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 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 'Mia's voice is witty, concise, demanding; delighted by the concordances of sounds in words, compassionate and aware of its own faults. Hustvedt shows us Mia as she stumbles through the female relationships around her, all painted in with a wry eye. Philip Womack, Telegraph Hustvedt makes it all seem effortless... it's an astoundingly joyful read, an apparently artless jumble of scenes, memories, letters and emails, scraps of poetry, rhetorical riffs. Mia rages and repents, but she never loses her mordant sense of humour... the book shines with intellectual curiosity and emotional integrity. Dignified yet playful, cutting yet tender, every page reminds us that, as Mia's doctor tells her, "tolerating cracks is part of being alive". Justine Jordan, Guardian An exquisite, thought-provoking novel. Fanny Blake, Woman & Home The emotion in The Summer Without Men is stunningly authentic...So pitch-perfect are the responses and the retellings of her protagonist that one could almost be forgiven for assuming she must be writing from experience. To do so, however, is to underestimate the fearsome talent of this stellar writer. West Australian This is a rich and intelligent meditation on female identity, written in beguiling, lyrical prose. Sunday Times