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What I Loved


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Over 250,000 copies sold

About the Author

Siri Hustvedt's first novel, THE BLINDFOLD, was published by Sceptre in 1993 and has since been translated into sixteen foreign languages. In 2001 the film OF WOMEN AND MAGIC, based on Part Three of the novel, was released. Her work has been published in The Paris Review, Fiction, and The Best American Short Stories, and she is also the author of a book of poetry, READING TO YOU, a collection of essays, YONDER, and a second novel, THE ENCHANTMENT OF LILY DAHL. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


After buying an astonishing painting in a SoHo gallery, art historian Leo Hertzberg tracks down the artist, Bill Wechsler, and they launch a lifelong friendship with all the attendant joys and sorrows. There's great in-house enthusiasm for Hustvedt's third novel. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

'Breathtaking' -- James Urquhart, Independent 'A love story with the grip and suspense of a thriller. It makes you ponder human existence with a peculiar mixture of stoicism and wonder.' -- Noonie Minogue, Times Literary Supplement 'Defiantly complex and frequently dazzling ... she has created a conceptually exciting work that demands we think, but which still allows us room to feel.' -- Alex Clark, Sunday Times 'Substantial, moving and beautifully written' -- Christian House, Independent on Sunday 'A big, wide, sensuous novel - clever, sinister, yet attractively real' -- Julie Myerson, Guardian 'A consummately intelligent novel, highly literate but also intensely moving.' -- Jackie McGlone, Scotsman 'Riveting ! erudite and immensely detailed ! a rich, densely textured and utterly absorbing novel' -- Lesley Glaister 'Subtle, compassionate, wise, and supremely intelligent, it's a striking achievement.' -- Kieron Corless, Time Out 'Hustvedt ranks amongst the finest American writers working today' -- Jennifer O'Connell, Sunday Business Post 'A powerful novel of love, loss and longing, exquisitely written' -- Anne Donovan, Sunday Herald

The ardent exchange of ideas underlies all manner of passionate action in Hustvedt's third novel (after The Enchantment of Lily Dahl), a dark tale of two intertwined New York families. "What is memory's perspective? Does the man revise the boy's view or is the imprint relatively static, a vestige of what was once intimately known?" So muses Columbia University art historian Leo Hertzberg as he recalls the love affair between artist Bill ("Seeing is flux") Wechsler and his model/second wife, Violet, whom Leo secretly loves almost as much as his own wife, Erica. Leo and Bill become friends when Leo buys a huge portrait of Violet, the first painting Bill has ever sold, and the two are inseparable ever after. Erica and Bill's first wife, Lucille, give birth to sons in the same year and, soon afterward, the Wechslers buy a loft in the same SoHo building. When the boys are four, Bill and Lucille are divorced, and Bill marries Violet. Linked by their love of art and language (Erica is an English professor and Violet a Ph.D. student with a specialty in 19th-century forms of madness), the two couples talk insatiably about art and life, celebrating triumphs and weathering tragedy together. In its second half, the novel shifts into the terrain of the psychological thriller, as Bill and Lucille's son, Mark, a dangerously charming boy, grows up and slips into a sinister New York club scene. So solid and complex are Hustvedt's characters that the change in pace is effortlessly effected-the plot developments are the natural extension of the author's meticulous examination of relationships and motives. In considering Violet, Leo observes, "Unlike most intellectuals, [she] didn't distinguish between the cerebral and the physical." The same distinctions are blurred in this gripping, seductive novel, a breakout work for Hustvedt. Author tour. (Mar. 6) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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