Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt (February 19, 1955) is an American novelist and essayist.

She graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in History, and completed her PhD in English at Columbia University, with a dissertation on Charles Dickens (Figures of Dust: A Reading of Our Mutual Friend).



  • 2003: Shortlisted for the Prix Femina Étranger in France for best foreign book of the year (What I Loved)
  • 2011: Shortlisted for the Prix Femina Étranger in France for best foreign book of the year (The Summer Without Men)
  • 2012: Gabarron International Award for Thought and Humanities
  • 2014: Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize (The Blazing World)
  • 2014: Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oslo
  • 2015: Honorary Doctorate from the Université Stendhal-Grenoble
  • 2016: Honorary Doctorate from Gutenberg University-Mainz



  • Reading to You (1982)



  • Yonder (1998)
  • Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting (2005)
  • A Plea for Eros (2005)
  • The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves (2009)
  • Embodied Visions: What Does it Mean to Look at a Work of Art?, bilingual edition English-German, published as part of a series of the annual Schelling Lectures delivered at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich; Deutscher Kunst Verlag, 2010
  • Living, Thinking, Looking (2012)
  • A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women (2017)


  • “Weather Markings.” The Paris Review 81(1981): 136-137 Reprinted. The Paris Review Anthology. Ed. George Plimpton. New York: Norton, 1990. 582-5833.
  • “Broken Geometry.” Pequod 12 (1981): 69-73.
  • “Eclipse,” “Hermaphroditic Parallels.” The Paris Review 87 (1983): 129-130.
  • “Haiku” (on Chardin). Art Issues, Summer (2000).
  • “Nine Boxes.” A Convergence of Birds: Original Fiction and Poetry Inspired by the Work of Joseph Cornell. Ed., Jonathan Safran Foer. New York: D.A.P., 2001. 93-98.


  • “Mr. Morning.” Ontario Review 30 (1989): 80-98. Reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 1990. Ed. Richard Ford. New York: Houghton Mifflin. 1990. 105-126. Also reprinted in The Literary Insomniac: Stories and Essays for Sleepless Nighta. Eds. Elyse Cheney and Wendy Hubbert. New York: Doubleday, 1996. 20-48.
  • “Houdini.” Fiction 9 (1990): 144-162. Reprinted in Best American Short Stories 1991. Ed. Alice Adams. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. 209-227.


  • “Vermeer’s Annunciation.” Modern Painters, Spring, 1996.
  • “Ghosts at the Table.” Modern Painters, Summer, 1997.
  • “Gatsby’s Glasses.” Conjunctions: 29. Tributes: American Writers on American Writers, (1997): 265-275.
  • “A Plea for Eros.”Brick, 1997. Reprinted in The Art of the Essay: The Best of 1999. Ed. Philip Lopate. New York: Random House, 1999.
  • “Not Just Bottles” (on Giorgio Morandi). Modern Painters, Winter, 1998. Reprinted: The Penguin Book of Art Writing. Eds. Karen Wright and Martin Gayford, 1999. Reprinted in Writers on Artists, London: DK, 2001.
  • “Franklin Pangborn: An Apologia.” O.K. You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors. Eds. Luc Sante and Melissa Pierson. New York: Granta Books, 1999. Reprinted as essay for The Criterion Collection (film).
  • “Franklin Pangborn: An Apologia.” O.K. You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors. Eds. Luc Sante and Melissa Pierson. New York: Granta Books, 1999. Reprinted as essay for The Criterion Collection (film).
  • “The Man with the Red Crayon” (on Chardin). Modern Painters, Spring, 2000.
  • Essay on Bohumil Hrabel’s I Served the King of England. Lost Classics: Writers on Books Loved and Lost. Eds. Michael Ondaatje, Michael Redhill, Linda and Esta Spalding. London: Bloomsbury, 2001.
  • “Double Exposure” (on Gerhard Richter). Modern Painters, Summer, 2002.
  • “Heaven’s Alphabet” (on Russian avant-garde book exhibition at MoMA) Art on Paper, July, August, 2002.
  • “Remembering in Color” (on Joan Mitchell). Modern Painters, Autumn, 2002.
  • “The World Trade Center.” 110 Stories: New York Writers After September 11. Ed. Ulrich Baer. New York: New York University Press, 2002.
  • “Being a Man.” Conjunctions 41, Two Kingdoms: The Dualism Issue (2003) 71-76.
  • “The Pleasures of Bewilderment”(on Giorgione). The Yale Review 91 (2003): 85-93.
  • “Finding Goya’s Head.” Modern Painters. Winter, 2003.
  • “Necessary Leaps” (catalogue essay). Richard Allen Morris: Retrospective 1958-2004. Museum Haus Lange. Krefeld, Germany: 2004. Reprinted in Modern Painters. Winter, 2004.
  • “Extracts from a Story of the Wounded Self.” Samtiden (Norway), November, 2004.
  • “Some Musings on the Word Scandinavia,” Lettre Internationale, Denmark: 08, 2005.
  • Introduction. “Personal and Impersonal Words.” Henry James, The Bostonians. New York: Barnes and Nobles Classics, 2005.
  • “Look Away.” New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of The New York Times. New York: New York University Press, 2005. 135-138.
  • “Duccio di Buoninsegna at the Met.” “La Vierge et l’Enfant.” Nouvelle Observateur. August 18, 2005.
  • “Goya’s Bodies: The Living, the Dead, and the Ghostly.” The Yale Review 93 (2005): 34-59.
  • “Old Pictures” (on photography) Modern Painters, Fall, 2005.
  • “Insides Out” (on Kiki Smith). Modern Painters, 2006. Revised version for catalogue essay, “Kiki Smith: Bound and Unbound,”Kiki Smith: Wellspring, Repères, Cahiers d’art contemporain, no. 139, Galerie Lelong, Paris, 2007.
  • “The Places that Scare You” (on Louise Bourgeois) The Guardian, October 6, 2007.
  • “Variations on Desire: A Mouse, A Dog, Buber, and Bovary.” Conjunctions 41 (2007) 213-221.
  • “My Father Myself.” Granta 104 (2008): 56-75.
  • “Excursions to the Islands of the Happy Few” (on expert culture). Philoctetes: The Journal of the Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination, vol.1 2007. Reprinted in Salmagundi, no. 166-167; Spring Summer 2010.
  • “Why Goya” published in Spanish as “Francisco de Goya o los equivos.” Fundacion Amigos Museo del Prado (2008)
  • “The Enchanted and Demonic World of Annette Messager” The Guardian, February 21, 2009.
  • “Truth and Rightness” (catalogue essay for Gerhard Richter). Gerhard Richter: Overpainted Photographs, ed. Markus Heinselmann, Hatje Cantz, 2009.
  • “The Drama of Perception: Looking at Morandi.” The Yale Review 97 (2009).
  • “My Inger Christensen,” Jyllands Posten (Denmark) Jan. 8, 2009. Reprinted in Poetry, May, 2009.
  • “Reflections on a More or Less Hidden Being.” Contemporary Psychoanalysis 46: Special Issue on Psychoanalysis and the Media (2010): 224-234.
  • “Stig Dagerman.” Foreword to The Snake, Ormen, Norstedts Forlag, Sweden, 2010.
  • “Embodied Visions: What Does it Mean to Look at a Work of Art,” The Yale Review 98 (2010).
  • “Margaret Bowland’s Theatrum Mundi,” catalogue essay for Excerpts from the Great American Songbook, Babcock Galleries, New York, and the Greenville County Museum of Art (2011).
  • “On Reading.” Columbia: 49, (2011).
  • “Three Emotional Stories: Reflections on Memory, the Imagination, Narrative and the Self. Neuropsychoanalysis 13 (2), 2011 (with peer review: Vittorio Gallese, dept. of neuroscience, University of Parma and Richard Kessler, Adults and Children with Learning Disabilities, Inc. New York)
  • “A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women.” Catalogue essay for Frauen: Picasso, Beckmann, de Kooning at Pinakothek der Moderne. Munich (2012)
  • “The Real Story.” Salmagundi, nos. 170-171, Spring Summer (2012): 35-53.
  • “Flashbacks” New York Times, Sunday Review, Feb. 18, 2012
  • “Freud’s Playground” Salmagundi, nos. 174-175, Spring Summer (2012): 59-78.
  • “Philosophy Matters in Brain Matters” Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy 22 (2013) 169-173.
  • “Underground Sexism: What was that you just said?” In Fifty Shades of Feminism. Eds. Lisa Appignanesi, Rachel Holmes, and Susie Orbach. London: Virago, 2013.
  • “Anselm Kiefer: The Truth is Always Gray.” Essay for catalogue of the Eli Broad Collection of Art in Los Angeles (2013).

About her

  • Johanna Hartmann, Literary Visuality in Siri Hustvedt’s Work: Phenomenological Perspectives (Wurtsburg: Konigshausen and Neumann, 2016).
  • Johanna Hartmann, Christine Marks, and Hubert Zapf, Zones of Focused Ambiguity in Siri Hustvedt Works: Interdisciplinary Essays (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016).
  • Christine Marks, I am Because You Are: Relationality in the Work of Siri Hustvedt (Winter: Heidelberg University Press, 2014).
  • Corinna Sophie Reipen, Visuality in the Works of Siri Hustvedt (New York: Peter Lang, 2014).
  • Asbjorn Gronstad. “Ekphrasis Refigured: Writing Seeing in Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved,” Mosaic, vol. 45, issue 3 (2012).
  • Alise Jameson. “Pleasure and Peril: Dynamic Forces of Power and Desire in Siri Hustvedt’s The Blindfold,” Studies in the Novel, vol. 42, issue 4 (2010).
  • Christian Knirsch, “In a Time Warp: The Issue of Chronology in Siri Hustvedt’s The Blindfold,” Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 11 (2010): (no pagenation).
  • Christian Knirsch, “The Story of a Migraineur: Black Holes in Siri Hustvedt’s The Blindfold
  • Elizabeth Kovac, “Violated Securities: Symptoms of a Post 9/11 Zeitgeist in Siri Hustvedt’s The Sorrows of an American,’ in eTransfers: A Postgraduate ejournal for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, issue 2 (2012).
  • Caroline Rosenthal, “The Inadequacy of Symbolic Surfaces: Urban Space, Art and Corporeality in Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved,” in ed. Caroline Rosenthal, New York and Toronto Novels after Postmodernism Explorations of the Urban (Rochester, N.Y: Camden House, 2011), 73-122.
  • Henderikus J. Stam, “The Neurosciences and the Search for a Unified Psychology: The Science and Aesthetics of a Single Framework,” Frontiers in Psychology 6 (2015):1467.
  • Anna Thiemann “Shaking Patterns of Diagnosis: Siri Hustvedt and Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” in Carmen Birkle and Johanna Heil, eds., Communication Disease: Cultural Representations of American Medicine (Winter: Heidelberg, 2013), 365-386.
  • Hubert Zapf, “Narrative, Ethics, and Post Modern Art in Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved,” in Astrid Erll, Hubert Grabes and Ansgar Nunning, eds., Ethics in Culture: The Dissemination of Values through Literature and Other Media (Berlin: de Gruyter), 171-196.
  • Gianna Zocco.”The Art of Watching: The Literary Motif of the Window and its Potential for Meta Fiction in Contemporary Literature,Trans revue de literature generals et compare, 16 (2013).
  • Bronfen, Elisabeth. “Gendering Curiosity: The Double Games of Siri Hustvedt, Paul Auster and Sophie Calle.” In Bi-Textualität: Inszenierungen des Paares, edited by Annegret Heitmann et al. Berlin: Schmidt, 2000, 283–302.
  • Ljungberg, Christina. “Triangular Strategies: Cross-Mapping the Curious Spaces of Siri Hustvedt, Paul Auster and Sophie Calle.” In Mapping Liminalities: Thresholds in Cultural and Literary Texts, edited by Lucy Kay et al. Bern: Lang, 2007, 111–35. Google Books.
  • Marks, Christine. “I am because you are”: Relationality in the Works of Siri Hustvedt. Heidelberg: Winter, 2014.
  • Marks, Christine. “Hysteria, Doctor-Patient Relations, and Identity Boundaries in Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved.” Gender Forum. An Internet Journal for Gender Studies 25 (2009). Online journal.
  • Öhlschläger, Claudia. Die unsägliche Lust des Schauens: Die Konstruktion der Geschechter im voyeurischen Text. Freiberg im Breisgau: Rombach, 1996.
  • Wegener, Susanne. “Die ‘Kulturelle Initiation’ der Lily Dahl: Identität in Siri Hustvedt’s The Enchantment of Lily Dahl.” PhiN: Philologie im Netz 32 (2005): 50–67.
  • Zapf, Hubert. “Narrative, Ethics, and Postmodern Art in Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved.” In Ethics in Culture: The Dissemination of Values through Literature and Other Media, edited by Astrid Erll, Herbert Grabes and Angsar Nünning. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2008, 171–94.
  • Zapf, Hubert. “Trauma, Narrative and Ethics in Recent American Fiction.” Other People’s Pain: Narratives of Trauma and the Question of Ethics, edited by Martin Modlinger and Phillip Sonntag. Berlin: Peter Lang AG, 2011.


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