What I Loved

A Novel

Siri Hustvedt

Picador

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What I Loved begins in New York in 1975, when art historian Leo Hertzberg discovers an extraordinary painting by an unknown artist in a SoHo gallery. He buys the work; tracks down the artist, Bill Wechsler; and the two men embark on a life-long friendship. Leo's story, which spans twenty-five years, follows the growing involvement between his family and Bill's--an intricate constellation of attachments that includes the two men, their wives, Erica and Violet, and their sons, Matthew and Mark.

The families live in the same New York apartment building, rent a house together in the summers and keep up a lively exchange of ideas about life and art, but the bonds between them are tested, first by sudden tragedy, and then by a monstrous duplicity that slowly comes to the surface. A beautifully written novel that combines the intimacy of a family saga with the suspense of a thriller, What I Loved is a deeply moving story about art, love, loss, and betrayal.

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What I Loved
ONEYESTERDAY, I FOUND VIOLET'S LETTERS TO BILL. THEY WERE HIDDEN between the pages of one of his books and came tumbling out and fell to the floor. I had known about the letters for years, but neither Bill nor Violet had ever told me what was in them. What they did tell me was that minutes after reading the fifth and last letter, Bill changed his mind about his marriage to Lucille, walked out the door of the building on Greene Street, and headed straight for Violet's apartment in the East Village. When I held the letters in my hands, I felt they had the uncanny weight of things

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Reviews

Praise for What I Loved

"Superb. . .What I Loved is a rare thing, a page turner written at full intellectual stretch, serious but witty, large-minded and morally engaged." --The New York Times Book Review

"So richly imagined is the art in her book that it serves not just to illuminate hidden emotions but also as a subject in itself. . .A wrenching portrait of parental grief, then a psychological thriller, and finally a meditation on the perspective of memory."--Vogue

"A great book. The twinning of narrative pleasure with intellectual rigor isn't rare. In fact, it's easy to find if you're plowing through, say, the Modern Library, engaging with classics that come to you already canonized and annointed. But to stumble into such a relationship with a contemporary. . .writer is a heady feeling. Those of us who read new fiction dream of finding such a book." --Newsday

"No image is wasted, no sentence superfluous in creating a novel that teems with ideas, emotions.... Hustvedt's novel is a quietly astounding work of fiction that defies categorization."--Los Angeles Times

"A remarkable achievement of Siri Hustvedt's prose, with its attention to nuance and intricacy is its demonstration that friendship is a powerful form of intelligence. The book's final pages acknowledge nearly overwhelming loss, but because the reader understands so much, their sadness feels almost like joy."--The Washington Post

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About the Author

Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt was born in 1955 in Northfield, Minnesota. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University in English literature and is the internationally acclaimed author of five novels, The Sorrows of an American, What I Loved, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, The Blindfold, and The Summer Without Men, as well as a growing body of nonfiction including, A Plea for Eros and Mysteries of the Rectangle, and an interdisciplinary investigation of the body and mind in The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. She has given lectures on artists and theories of art at the Prado, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 2011, she delivered the thirty-ninth annual Freud Lecture in Vienna.She lives in Brooklyn.

Siri Hustvedt

Marion Ettlinger
Siri Hustvedt

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Available Formats and Book Details

What I Loved
A Novel
Siri Hustvedt

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
March 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312421199
ISBN10: 0312421192
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages
$16.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
March 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466828360
ISBN10: 1466828366
384 pages
$9.99
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Picador

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