Siri Hustvedt takes feminist discourse to a new level . . . a powerful collection with an impressive variety of disciplines through whose prism the themes of art, motherhood, neuroscience, misogyny and sex are revealed. It is an engaging and educational read that makes a valuable contribution to contemporary feminist discourse.
American novelist and feminist philosopher Siri Hustvedt is a wonderful essayist, equally at ease discussing the thoughts of Plato or the lyrics of Tom Waits. Her new collection is replete with personal history and recollection, and sparkles with small descriptive gems.
In precise yet luxuriant prose Hustvedt uses her family history to explore questions of memory and identity.
Memoir, psychoanalysis, feminist theory and literary criticism combine in a thoughtful essay collection . . . Now, as issues of surrogacy and trans motherhood pose fresh challenges, feminism's confrontation with the issue feels newly urgent. Siri Hustvedt joins the fray with a mixture of directness and obliqueness. She takes on motherhood from every direction, combining memoir with ethnography, the history of science and psychoanalysis, literary and art criticism.
Mothers, Fathers, and Others, showcases a wonderfully relaxed erudition. Blending family memoir and feminist philosophy, its subjects include misogyny, motherhood and what we inherit from our parents
Another outstanding compilation of essays from Hustvedt. As in her previous standout collections, the author shares personal, familial stories as well as incisive ruminations on a breadth of literary, political, arcane, and germane subjects . . . Although each essay is a stand-alone piece, their cumulative effect is staggering. Themes related to sexual hierarchies abound . . . The author, one of our most appealing literary polymaths, quotes innumerable resources, and she maintains a pleasingly nuanced balance between striking originality and intellectual synthesis . . . Brilliant and utterly transfixing.
Dizzyingly flexible, deeply human, often funny, Mothers, Fathers, and Others blasts aside our preconceptions and urges us to see the world as it is.
Ranging from portraits of her family, through female artists and authors, to the sometimes disturbing eruptions of the male psyche, this is an extremely well-written exploration of the hinterland of a modern feminist. More than once, I found myself comparing her analyses to Socratic dialogues, and there can be no higher praise than that.