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The Blindfold Paperback – 4 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; 2 edition (5 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340581239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340581230
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Siri Hustvedt's first novel, The Blindfold, was published by Sceptre in 1993. Since then she has published The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men and The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014. She is also the author of the poetry collection Reading To You, and four collections of essays: Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros and Living, Thinking, Looking, as well as the memoir The Shaking Woman: A History of My Nerves.

Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has a PhD in English from Columbia University and in 2012 was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities.

www.sirihustvedt.net

Product Description

Review

Gripping...A complex exploration of the nature of the self, executed in polished and immediate prose (The Times)

It has vivid and compelling characters; it is scary, sinister and readable ... a very smart novel (Independent)

Brilliant...A dark, mesmerising debut (Independent on Sunday)

'Hustvedt has pulled off nothing less than a re-mapping of the modern feminist psyche...The quality and spareness of her prose, the intensity of her imagination, are at work on one of the most macabre terrains of the 20th century - New York' (Daily Telegraph )

A harsh, dark, dangerous piece of prose...Sharply readable, quirky and entertaining in its witty observation of student and city life, but the whole resonates with shocking force (Vogue)

A work of dizzying intensity ... an intriguing and sure-handed debut by a writer of eloquent and vivid disposition (Don DeLillo)

'Sexy without being steamy, intelligent without being complicated' (New Statesman )

Book Description

The dazzling debut of Siri Hustvedt, author of the international bestseller WHAT I LOVED.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jo Bennie VINE VOICE on 5 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first time I read this book I really didn't like it, then I reread it and began to be enchanted. On one level it is the story of the coming of age of Iris Vegan, an intellectually intelligent but emotionally naive midwest girl come to New York to university. Like a little girl in a fairytale she meets a cast of characters on the streets and in the buildings of the urban jungle, the creepy obsessive Mr Morning, the too too cool Stephen and his artistic friends, Iris' professor lover and Iris' own transformation into a she/he wandering the seedier pits of the urban landscape and New York itself. Iris an literature student and she describes the world around her in first person narration through the filter of her heroines. Give it time and it will haunt you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susie B TOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Siri Hustvedt's debut novel `The Blindfold' is written in the form of four interconnected and very unusual stories which revolve around Iris Vegan, a beautiful, but rather fragile young woman, a graduate student in literature at Columbia University. Iris (interestingly Iris is Siri spelt backwards) like many students, is lacking in funds and in order to earn some money, she takes a temporary, and very part time job with a strange man called Mr. Mornington. Mr Mornington is a writer and the work he wants Iris to undertake is to write and tape record a series of short essays describing the belongings of a woman who was murdered in his apartment block. Iris is rather worried by the strangeness of her task, but very intrigued - and then she begins to suspect that Mr Mornington might actually be involved in the murder....

Further on in this book we move to another part of Iris's life and her unsatisfactory relationship with her lover, Stephen and his friend, George. George is a photographer who takes artistic pictures of rather unusual people and situations, and when he meets Iris, he is keen to take some photographs of her. Stephen does not react well to the news that George wants to take pictures of Iris, but he will not explain his reasons and when he sees one of the photographs George wants to exhibit, he responds in a rather puzzling way, and so indeed, does Iris...

In the final part of `The Blindfold' we meet a rather strange German boy called Klaus, a fictional character, whose identity is, rather surprisingly, part assumed by the translator of his story, and what happens in the course of this part of the novel, is even more surprising... but I am afraid I can't explain more for fear of spoiling the story for prospective readers.
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Format: Paperback
This is a novel that doesn’t seem like a novel at first, until you understand that the events described are somewhat randomly placed in time, but each has it’s place in the overarching story. It begins with the strange Mr Morning hiring Iris, a student, to describe certain things in minute detail into a tape recorder; she is asked to whisper into it while she does so, Iris takes on the job, but one day she simply throws the latest item away and doesn’t go back to Mr Morning, as she suspects that the items she has been asked to describe belong to a dead woman, and Mr Morning has killed her.

I very nearly didn’t continue with this book, but I am, on the whole, glad that I did. The following events in Iris’s life are not so bizarre, though Iris is a true eccentric. Tall, beautiful, conflicted and much admired. For a time she cuts off most of her hair and spends her time dressed in a man’s suit. Her boyfriend Stephen is ambiguous, sometimes not keen to see her, and sometimes very keen. His friend George is also quite keen. At some point Iris (and yes, the name has a suggestive acronym) is being treated for migraine, so bad that it hospitalises her. Migraine can be very traumatic, the holes in one’s vision, the sparkling lights, the misery of the pain, which I can only describe as violently painful.

There are several other incidents and accidents that occur in the book, some of which are positively traumatic, and one does become absorbed in Iris’s life, especially when she becomes involved with her English lecturer, Professor Rose. It becomes a book you can’t put down, even though you don’t have the faintest idea of what will happen next. I really liked this book. It’s something quite out of the ordinary and I thought it a curiously addictive and satisfying read.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
Bought by chance in a charity shop,it took me a while to get round to read The Blindfold....... Once started I could not put it down! just the book for me, nothing boring about it, not the narrative, characters or the seemingly aphazard chapters, topsy turvy, yet such an excellent picture, account of a person's innards...... the shadowy side of relationships with the whole of life...... I have fallen deeply in love with Siri Hustvedt and will devour all her writings as of now!!! Do the same!!! dead easy to read as well as the language is really everyday....... it's the content that grabs you..... long live good writers! Definitely 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suomikallio Anu I on 20 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blindfold was the final book of Siri Hustvedt which I hadn't read before. I love all of her books and waiting to read a new one. I know people who don't like Siri Hustvedt. I'd like to know why.
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