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Living, Thinking, Looking Paperback – 14 Feb 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (14 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144473265X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444732658
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Her erudition, the sharp clarity of her thinking, the variety of her sources and the supple ways in which she weaves them into personal narrative, coupled with her fearlessness in the face of those aspects of the human condition which are of necessity ambiguous, infuse her work with a rare kind of quiet intellectual confidence...I'll be returning to these essays. (Melanie McGrath, Sunday Telegraph)

richly intelligent insights on every page (George Pendle, Financial Times)

Siri Hustvedt is best known as a novelist and her novels have received a deserved acclaim. But to my mind, she is even more to be admired as an essayist...there is something refreshingly straightforward about her style. It has the confidence born of complex but well digested thoughts and thus lacks the tendency to obfuscate that is the hallmark of the inferior thinker's style. (Salley Vikcers, Observer)

...she is an inspiring guide to territory where both the humanities and the sciences can throw light on the ways in which we construct meaning in our lives. (Nick Rennison, Sunday Times, Culture)

Hustvedt addresses a broad public without dumbing down her material... At once stimulating and warm-hearted, with sentences of drop-dead beauty and acuity on nearly every page. (Kirkus)

Hustvedt's deep interest in art, psychology, and neuroscience shape her brilliantly insightful novels as well as her virtuoso essays...Mystery, fact, intelligence, and enchantment flourish here. (Booklist)

exquisitely eloquent...You'll be by turns inspired, provoked, educated and enchanted. Her writing is scientifically precise and poetically elegant, and this intense compilation merits careful attention. It's a book you can return to time and time again. (Beatrice Hodgkin, Easy Living)

These essays offer thoughts on locating morality in the brain, the origins of desire and who we are when we sleep...I suggest you take this book to your favourite corner, turn off the phone and allow yourself to be reminded of the pure pleasure of using your mind. (Clare Longrigg, Psychologies)

Book Description

A dazzling collection of essays by the bestselling author of What I Loved - thought-provoking, engaging, illuminating reflections on what it means to be human

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Siri Hustvedt is best known for novels such as `What I Loved', `The Sorrows of the American' and `The Enchantment of Lily Dahl' which have all received deserved critical acclaim. But I know her best for her essays and non-fiction works such as `A Plea for Eros' and `The Shaking Woman (or A History of My Nerves)'. Both of these latter works still resonate with me. For example, it was in `A Plea for Eros' that Hustvedt commented on the narcissistic aspects of love. That is, each of us desires another (or `an Other') who reflects ourselves back to us (our beliefs, desires, morals etc.). This idea has stuck with me as I think, in general, it is very true. It seems to me that when a couple meet for the first time and say they `just clicked' this `clicking' often translates as a `meeting of minds'. Two minds which were previously separate like small pieces within a larger jigsaw puzzle, click into place. They fit together and reflect one another.

Hustvedt's latest book, `Living, Thinking, Looking' sees her returning to the essay format - which I think is her métier. It is a collection of 32 essays divided into the three subject areas of the book's title: `living' consists of pieces drawn from Hustvedt's own life; `thinking' is a selection of writings on memory and the self; and `looking' mainly focuses on artworks and artists. What I love about Hustvedt's books is her writing style: it is so clear and unambiguous - even when she is expounding on subjects as complex as post-structuralist theory, neuroscience, and Freudian psychology. One of the blurbs on the back of `Living, Thinking, Looking' comments that she `has an enviable ability to digest and reframe her discoveries into clear, accessible prose'.
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback
I picked this up because The Blazing World was one of my favourite reads of last year. It's an amazing book by a writer who consistently intrigues and entrances me. This collection of essays does the same. I cannot say I always entirely understand what she is saying, and I don't always agree with her opinions with regard to some of the artists she writes about, but she is compelling, erudite and has a fascinating way of looking at and writing about the world.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've read 'The Shaking Woman', much of this book will seem familiar. Also, as many of the sections were written as speeches/presentations they lack depth in some instances.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've only read the first chapter and I'm already so grateful for this book that I want to write about it and I want you to read it, too.
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