The Blazing World
By Siri Hustvedt
Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781476747231, 357pp.
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
List Price: $26.00*
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In a new novel called "searingly fresh... A Nabokovian cat's cradle" on the cover of "The New York Times Book Review," the internationally bestselling author tells the provocative story of artist Harriet Burden, who, after years of having her work ignored, ignites an explosive scandal in New York's art world when she recruits three young men to present her creations as their own. Yet when the shows succeed and Burden steps forward for her triumphant reveal, she is betrayed by the third man, Rune. Many critics side with him, and Burden and Rune find themselves in a charged and dangerous game, one that ends in his bizarre death.
An intricately conceived, diabolical puzzle presented as a collection of texts, including Harriet's journals, assembled after her death, this "glorious mashup of storytelling and scholarship" ("San Francisco Chronicle") unfolds from multiple perspectives as Harriet's critics, fans, family, and others offer their own conflicting opinions of where the truth lies. Writing in "Slate," Katie Roiphe declared it "a spectacularly good read...feminism in the tradition of Simone de Beauvoir's "The Second Sex" or Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" richly complex, densely psychological, dazzlingly nuanced."
"Astonishing, harrowing, and utterly, completely engrossing" (NPR), Hustvedt's new novel is "Blazing indeed: ...with agonizing compassion for all of wounded humanity"("Kirkus Reviews," starred review). It is a masterpiece that will be remembered for years to come.