Siri Hustvedt | Books & Literature » Non-Fiction

Mothers, Fathers, and Others

Mothers, Fathers, and Others

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22 NOV 2021

Spencer Bailey

The Monday Media Diet with Spencer Bailey and Andrew Zuckerman

A collection of essays by Siri Hustvedt, exploring various themes and showcasing her prowess as one of the greatest writers, essayists, and thinkers alive.

Feminist philosophy meets family memoir in Mothers, Fathers, and Others, a new essay collection from Siri Hustvedt. An exploration of the shifting borders that define human experience, including boundaries we usually take for granted—between ourselves and others, nature and nurture, viewer and artwork—which turn out to be far less stable than we imagine. Described as “a 21st-century Virginia Woolf” in the Literary Review (UK), Man Booker longlisted Hustvedt displays her expansive intellect and interdisciplinary knowledge in this collection that moves effortlessly between stories of her mother, grandmother, and daughter to artistic mothers, Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, and Lousie Bourgeois, to the broader meanings of maternal in a culture shaped by misogyny and fantasies of paternal authority. This moving, fierce, and often funny book is finally about the fact that being alive means being in states of constant, dynamic exchange with what is around us, and that the impulse to draw hard and fast conceptual borders where none exist carries serious theoretical and political dangers.

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