The Blazing World
written by Siri Hustvedt
Sceptre | ISBN 9781444779639
Paperback – 384 pages
Member’s price: $27.00
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The intricate, devilishly playful, intellectually inspiring, emotionally involving new novel by the author of What I Loved.
Artist Harriet Burden, consumed by fury at the lack of recognition she has received from the New York art establishment, embarks on a shrewd experiment: she hides her identity behind three male fronts who exhibit her work as their own. And yet, even after she has unmasked herself, there are those who refuse to believe she is the woman behind the men.
Presented as a collection of texts compiled by a scholar years after Burden's death, the story unfolds through extracts from her notebooks, reviews and articles, as well as testimonies from her children, her lover, a dear friend, and others more distantly connected to her. Each account is different, however, and the mysteries about Harriet Burden start to multiply. One thing is clear: Burden's involvement with the last of her 'masks' turned into a dangerous psychological game that ended with the man's bizarre death.
This is a polyphonic tour de force from the internationally acclaimed author of What I Loved, an intricately conceived, diabolical puzzle that explores the way prejudice, fame, money, and desire influence our perceptions of one another. Emotionally intense, intellectually rigorous, ironic and playful, The Blazing World is as gripping as it is thought-provoking.