Feature

Novel of the week: The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt’s “sublime, playful” new book captures the subtle mechanics of contemporary sexism.

(Simon & Schuster, $26)

“It’s rare that a novel of ideas can be so much fun,” said Katie Roiphe in Slate.com. Siri Hustvedt’s “sublime, playful” new book takes dead aim at contemporary sexism but captures its subtle mechanics more vividly than any polemic could. The novel is looking back on one Harriet “Harry” Burden, a 60-something New York artist who, after decades of being overshadowed by her art-dealer husband, decided to fight back against art-world hypocrisy by releasing a fresh creative outpouring as the work of three much younger men. Unfortunately, we hear the whole story through the recollections of critics and friends, and Harry on the page is “never quite as compelling or affecting a figure as everyone says she was,” said Lloyd Sachs in the Chicago Tribune. But the Harry we meet isn’t meant to be a flawless heroine, said Clare McHugh in The Wall Street Journal. She’s a woman who sees the world as grievously flawed, and “she bears more personal responsibility for that view than she can ever stand to acknowledge.”

Recommended

Biden suspends Trump's 25 percent tariff on Scotch whisky
Scotch
Slàinte mhath

Biden suspends Trump's 25 percent tariff on Scotch whisky

Almost all operations shut down as COVID-19 outbreak hits U.S. Embassy in Kabul
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
coronavirus crisis

Almost all operations shut down as COVID-19 outbreak hits U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Biden's Putin meeting rehabilitated his image in Russia
Joe Biden
Image upgrade

Biden's Putin meeting rehabilitated his image in Russia

White House now looking to 'engage' with China's Xi Jinping
President Biden with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
let's meet

White House now looking to 'engage' with China's Xi Jinping

Most Popular

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats
Trump rally.
The big lie

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats