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The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt
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The Sorrows of an American (2008)

by Siri Hustvedt

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Another good Husvedt, but lacking some of the intensity of What I Loved. A fantastic blend of fiction, psychology and philosophy though. ( )
  ellohull | Feb 10, 2016 |
This book has further cemented Siri Hustvedt's place as one of my favourite writers, and this book is one of her best.

Part of the story is based on, and quotes, her father's memoirs of life among Norwegian immigrants in rural Minnesota and his experiences in the war - this is interwoven with a complex modern story centred on the narrator, a psychotherapist in New York. Hustvedt's characters are fully realised, flawed and human. The book is largely concerned with loss, memory and how perceptions of even the closest family and friends can be affected by secrets.

As in several of her other books (notably What I Loved and The Blazing World), her interest in psychology, philosophy, literature and art shine through, and it is compulsive, readable, moving and thought provoking. To finish with a quote: "There is music in dialogue, mysterious harmonies and dissonances that vibrate in the body like a tuning fork". ( )
  bodachliath | Jan 4, 2016 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2498122.html

It's pretty awful. The narrator is a New York psychiatrist who is in love with his lodger, having a love affair with one of his colleagues, and untangling family secrets of his own (not that exciting) and his lodger (a bit more exciting). There are lots of old letters written between Norwegian forebears, and traumatic memories of 9/11. It did very little for me. ( )
  nwhyte | Sep 12, 2015 |
I cannot say that I am enthusiastic about this book. It took me several days to slog through it as I could not muster up the enthusiasm to plow straight ahead. In retrospect, I now feel this was a mistake. This novel should be read in one swoop. When I completed the first third, I thought to myself, nothing noteworthy has happened yet. In fact, the first monumental turn of events was on page 289 out of 303 pages. Did we really need another tale of a messed up psychoanalyst in New York City? How many of us could write of the baggage that was handed to us by one or both of our parents? This was a selection for the monthly book club at my local library. I have one other of Ms. Hustvedt's works to read for book club so I will be giving her a second chance. ( )
  musichick52 | Apr 29, 2015 |
Hustvedt has done an interesting piece of literature here. She has captured the spirit of malaise in the post- 9/11 and post-immigrant experience of North America we all feel today. Not a simple read for sure but certainly one that should be read over and over again.
my complete review ( )
  steven.buechler | Apr 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
The Sorrows of an American is Siri Hustvedt's fourth novel. It was first published in 2008 and is about a Norwegian American family and their troubles. The novel is partly autobiographical in that Hustvedt herself is of Norwegian descent and in that passages from her own deceased father's journal about the Depression in America and the Pacific theatre of war during World War II are scattered through the book.

The Sorrows of an American operates on several time levels and depicts the difficult times of four generations of the fictional Davidsen family. At the core of the novel lies a long-kept family secret which the first person narrator, a middle-aged psychiatrist called Erik Davidsen who lives and works in New York, sets out to unearth together with his sister. However, the novel abounds in subplots which focus on the present rather than the past.
added by laurieblum | editARC, Laurie Blum (Jul 25, 2009)
 
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Ne te détourne pas.
Ne cesse pas de regarder l'endroit qu'on a pansé.
C'est par là que la lumière entre en toi.

Rûmî
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For my daughter, Sophie Hustvedt Auster
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My sister called it "the year of secrets", but when I look back on it now, I've come to understand that it was a time not of what was there, but of what wasn't.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312428200, Paperback)

When Erik Davidsen and his sister, Inga, find a disturbing note among their late father's papers, they believe he may be implicated in a mysterious death. The Sorrows of an American tells the story of the Davidsen family as brother and sister unbandage its wounds in the year following their father’s funeral. Erik is a psychiatrist dangerously vulnerable to his patients; Inga is a writer whose late husband, a famous novelist, seems to have concealed a secret life. Interwoven with each new mystery in their lives are discoveries about their father’s youth--poverty, the War, the Depression--that bring new implications to his relationship with his children.

This masterful novel reveals one family’s hidden sorrows in an "elegant meditation on familial grief, memory, and imagination" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Erik Davidsen and his sister, Inga, find a disturbing note from an unknown woman among their dead father's papers, they believe he may be implicated in a mysterious death. The Sorrows of an American tells the story of the Davidsen family as brother and sister uncover its secrets and unbandage its wounds in the year following their father's funeral.… (more)

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