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How to Read Literature
Terry Eagleton
De Cock en de broeders van de zachte dood
A.C. Baantjer
The Summer Without Men - Siri Hustvedt First sentence: "Sometime after he said the word pause, I went mad and landed in the hospital."
P. 99: "Comedies end in marriage, tragedies in death."
Last sentence: "'You get it,' I said, 'Let him come to me.'"

I bought this book immediately after reading a review about it in a Flemish newspaper and I am so happy that I did. Hustvedt (the wife of Paul Auster) is a master with words and succeeds in telling an in essence simple story (Woman gets nervous breakdown after her husband leaves her for a younger woman and spends the summer with her mother in the town where she grew up) in quite a unique way. The narration switches between what is going on inside the head of Mia, the main character: her thoughts and feelings; and dialogues with her mother or any other of the five "Swans", as Mia calls her mother and her four lady-friends, with the seven girls who attend her poetry Summer-class, and with the neighbours.

All this is so beautifully done and full of hidden meaning, that reading the book is only possible if one savours every word and every sentence. And yet the story is very fast paced, so I never was bored or anything.

I am sure I will read Siri Hustvedt's other books.


Some other thoughts/reviews:

The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/22/summer-without-men-siri-hustvedt

BermudaOnion's Weblog: http://bermudaonion.net/2011/07/28/review-the-summer-without-men/

Beauty is a Sleeping Cat: http://beautyisasleepingcat.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/siri-hustvedt-the-summer-without-men-2011/