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The Summer Without Men by [Hustvedt, Siri]
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The Summer Without Men Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Length: 225 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

Siri Hustvedt is a novelist of great intelligence. She knows the ways of the world and of the heart . . . THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN is a new departure. Despite its painful subject matter - marital rupture, encroaching death, the tormenting antics of malice-ridden girls - the novel is a mordant comedy. (Lisa Appignanesi, The Observer)

a rich and intelligent meditation on female identity, written in beguiling lyrical prose . . . heady and intoxicating (Lucy Scholes, Sunday Times)

Hustvedt is a writer of luminous perception (Jane Shilling, Telegraph)

Hustvedt's intensely visual writing spans the generations. She can conjure up a child's realm of imaginary friends as evocatively as the brave face adopted by the elderly living in "a world of continual loss". The story of one woman regaining her own identity, it's by turns funny, moving and erudite, playfully reminding us of a contemporary Jane Austen. (Claire Colvin, Daily Mail)

[Mia] is alarmingly funny and her narrative toys with the immediacy of the epistolary novel . . . Events are coupled with commentary, commentary leads into event and temporal sequence is delightfully confused. Such digressive freedom is one of the pleasures of THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN, in which fiction, fantasy, and historical fact are interweaved. (Stephanie Bishop, TLS)

THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN shows a mind alive, at work and boundlessly curious about the way people live and love. It is the kind of book with which to grapple and argue, to challenge and fight, but also with which to engage and at which to marvel. (Jennifer Levasseuer, The Age)

Siri Hustvedt is an intelligent, intuitive, talented writer (Lionel Shriver, Financial Times)

It's a warm, affecting tale about love, loss and finding consolation in female friendship. Hustvedt captures both the absurdity and the tragedy of life (Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler)

'Mia's voice is witty, concise, demanding; delighted by the concordances of sounds in words, compassionate and aware of its own faults. Hustvedt shows us Mia as she stumbles through the female relationships around her, all painted in with a wry eye. (Philip Womack, Telegraph)

Hustvedt makes it all seem effortless... it's an astoundingly joyful read, an apparently artless jumble of scenes, memories, letters and emails, scraps of poetry, rhetorical riffs. Mia rages and repents, but she never loses her mordant sense of humour... the book shines with intellectual curiosity and emotional integrity. Dignified yet playful, cutting yet tender, every page reminds us that, as Mia's doctor tells her, "tolerating cracks is part of being alive". (Justine Jordan, Guardian)

An exquisite, thought-provoking novel. (Fanny Blake, Woman & Home)

The emotion in The Summer Without Men is stunningly authentic....So pitch-perfect are the responses and the retellings of her protagonist that one could almost be forgiven for assuming she must be writing from experience. To do so, however, is to underestimate the fearsome talent of this stellar writer. (West Australian)

This is a rich and intelligent meditation on female identity, written in beguiling, lyrical prose. (Sunday Times)

Review

'Siri Hustvedt is a novelist of great intelligence. She knows the ways of the world and of the heart ... THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN is a new departure. Despite its painful subject matter - marital rupture, encroaching death, the tormenting antics of malice-ridden girls - the novel is a mordant comedy.' -- Lisa Appignanesi, The Observer 'a rich and intelligent meditation on female identity, written in beguiling lyrical prose ... heady and intoxicating' -- Lucy Scholes, Sunday Times 'Hustvedt is a writer of luminous perception' -- Jane Shilling, Telegraph 'Hustvedt's intensely visual writing spans the generations. She can conjure up a child's realm of imaginary friends as evocatively as the brave face adopted by the elderly living in "a world of continual loss". The story of one woman regaining her own identity, it's by turns funny, moving and erudite, playfully reminding us of a contemporary Jane Austen.' -- Claire Colvin, Daily Mail '[Mia] is alarmingly funny and her narrative toys with the immediacy of the epistolary novel ... Events are coupled with commentary, commentary leads into event and temporal sequence is delightfully confused. Such digressive freedom is one of the pleasures of THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN, in which fiction, fantasy, and historical fact are interweaved.' -- Stephanie Bishop, TLS 'THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN shows a mind alive, at work and boundlessly curious about the way people live and love. It is the kind of book with which to grapple and argue, to challenge and fight, but also with which to engage and at which to marvel.' -- Jennifer Levasseuer, The Age 'Siri Hustvedt is an intelligent, intuitive, talented writer' -- Lionel Shriver, Financial Times 'It's a warm, affecting tale about love, loss and finding consolation in female friendship. Hustvedt captures both the absurdity and the tragedy of life' -- Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler 'Mia's voice is witty, concise, demanding; delighted by the concordances of sounds in words, compassionate and aware of its own faults. Hustvedt shows us Mia as she stumbles through the female relationships around her, all painted in with a wry eye. -- Philip Womack, Telegraph 'Hustvedt makes it all seem effortless... it's an astoundingly joyful read, an apparently artless jumble of scenes, memories, letters and emails, scraps of poetry, rhetorical riffs. Mia rages and repents, but she never loses her mordant sense of humour... the book shines with intellectual curiosity and emotional integrity. Dignified yet playful, cutting yet tender, every page reminds us that, as Mia's doctor tells her, "tolerating cracks is part of being alive".' -- Justine Jordan, Guardian 'An exquisite, thought-provoking novel.' -- Fanny Blake, Woman & Home 'The emotion in The Summer Without Men is stunningly authentic...So pitch-perfect are the responses and the retellings of her protagonist that one could almost be forgiven for assuming she must be writing from experience. To do so, however, is to underestimate the fearsome talent of this stellar writer.' -- West Australian 'This is a rich and intelligent meditation on female identity, written in beguiling, lyrical prose.' -- Sunday Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 485 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q9TK7A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #136,407 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this book. Really well written and the descriptions of emotion were brilliant.Loved all the twists and turns in the story.definitely recommend ed
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Format: Paperback
I devoured this book in one sitting over the course of an afternoon.It's a subtle blend of stream of consciousness writing combined with a realistic narrative.The plotline is not unusual:husband leaves wife for younger woman;woman retreats back to her family of origin.What really lifts this out of the ordinary is the inner dialogue of the wife,deserted by her husband of 30 years.She's a poet who's aware of her relative perspective on what reality is.That's at head level.We also feel her devastation quite viscerally.The setting moves to the residential home where her 90 year old mother now lives amongst several other aged women.Their life stories are told without sentimentality but with empathy.At the same time,she gets to know a younger woman with 2 small children and becomes an important part of their life.As the title indiates,it's a novel about women;always tender,sometimes raw.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Following a breakdown after her husband asks for a 'pause' in their 30-year marriage, Mia (an award-winning poet) spends the summer in her old Minnesota town, close to her mother's Rolling Meadows retirement home. The initially confused and fragile Mia ponders her situation, while she also observes the generations behind and before her. She is hired to teach poetry to a group of teenage girls at the local Arts Guild. The group (The Coven) develop some disturbing behaviour, despite their commitment to the poetry classes. Mia's mother's 'Five Swans' are also literary and creative, despite their age-related limitations of body. Mia befriends a neighbour, a young married woman with two small children and a difficult husband. She also indulges in a correspondence with her "annonymous tormentor," an emailer who calls himself 'Mr. Nobody.'

However interested we are in these characters, we are kept at a distance from them by Mia's constant musings. Despite the book's title Mia's mind is full of references to learned men whom she quotes or whose ideas come to her mind as she observes her life: Kant, Spinoza, Hume, Plutarch, Diogenes, Becket, Ibsen, Derrida, Winnicott, Vygotsky et al, while Freud and Kierkegaard feature several times. There are references to films, Cary Grant, Antigone, Jane Austen, ruminations on neuroscience and the nature of orgasm, the two Columbuses, the nature of bullying. Siri Hustvedt seems to be in experimental mode with form, there are letters, diary entries, poems, a few drawings and a curiously intrusive though playful narrator who suddelny steps aside to address 'Dear Reader.' The learning does not weigh heavily within the novel, but the cumulative effect made me wish the author had kept a stronger focus on the plot and sub-plot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I disliked this book and it took me forever to finish it (two years!). Och well - you win some, you lose some.
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Format: Hardcover
Loved this book, loved everything about it.
Hustvedt has created a little gem of a book that I am sure I will return to at some stage in the future to read again. As the title suggests it is a book mainly populated by women, with the protagonist living temporarily back in her hometown after her husband has requested a `marital break'. The prose is unflinching in its consideration of the heartbreak caused to a woman on the betrayal of her love and trust by her husband. However, as with all great love stories it build a realistic portrayal of the woman's own strengths as she copes with her loss and rises once again into her own skin, rebuilding her faith in herself and in the strengths of women around her. The honesty of the book is wonderful, with beautiful descriptions of the anger of age, the difficulties of married life and the insidious manipulation of teenage girls by teenage girls. It's a celebration of womanhood in the best possible sense because it looks unflinchingly at our faults, our assets and our idiosyncrasies and leaves us smiling.
The book has several mentions of book clubs, which are well placed because the book would serve as a great catalyst for discussion in any book club. Read this book!
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Format: Paperback
May's Reading Group read and just like March I'm afraid it's another nul points from me (yes, I know, I've rated it 1 here but that's just because the site does not allow for less).

Woman is left by husband after 30 years of marriage (he wants a pause), said woman turns into a lunatic (the authors words and not mine) and, diagnosed with Brief Psychotic Disorder, ends up spending time in a psychiatric hospital before going home where she tutors a group of young girls in poetry ...... so far, so good.

But, pretentious in the extreme - full of philosophising (that I for one could never quite fathom), terrible poetry and, oh, the occasional pen and ink illustration - I'm afraid for me the whole novel lacked any real insight

Not altogher without merit though. I did quite like the elderly eccentric widows known as the Five Swans but, just as with the rest of the characters, I felt that all of main character Mia's constant musing meant that we never really got to know them as we might have.

At best, a chore to read. At worst? Largely self-indulgent ramblings.

Copyright: Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper.
The Summer without Men
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