What I Loved

A Novel

Siri Hustvedt

Henry Holt and Co.

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A powerful and heartbreaking novel that chronicles the epic story of two families, two sons, and two marriages
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 evolution of 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 children, Matthew and Mark. The families live in the same building in New York, share a house in Vermont during the summer, keep up a lively exchange of thoughts and ideas, and find themselves permanently altered by one another. Over the years, they not only enjoy love but endure loss-in one case sudden, incapacitating loss; in another, a different kind, one that is hidden and slow-growing, and which insidiously erodes the fabric of their lives.
Intimate in tone and seductive in its complexity, the novel moves seamlessly from inner worlds to outer worlds, from the deeply private to the public, from physical infirmity to cultural illness. Part family novel, part psychological thriller, What I Loved is a beautifully written exploration of love, loss, and betrayal-and of a man's attempt to make sense of the world and go on living.

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Book Excerpts

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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

Praise for What I Loved:

"What I Loved is Siri Hustvedt's most ambitious, most rewarding novel. It mesmerizes, rouses, disturbs. Hustvedt is that rare artist, a writer of high intelligence, profound sensuality and a less easily definable capacity for which the only word I can find is wisdom."
-Salman Rushdie

Praise for Siri Hustvedt:

"An impressive new talent . . . Relationships, like everything else in Hustvedt's world, are lively, unpredictable, full of mysterious emotion: the dark side of everyday life."
-Time

"A writer of eloquent and vivid disposition."
-Don DeLillo

"[Hustvedt] has a knack for intimate detail, for suggesting, with some intensity, the compulsive psychological spiral of drowning souls, for creating powerful moods with just enough words."
-The New York Times Book Review

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About the Author

Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt is the author of two previous novels, The Blindfold and The Enchantment of Lily Dahl (0-8050-5590-8). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Paul Auster.

Siri Hustvedt

Marion Ettlinger
Siri Hustvedt

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Available Formats and Book Details

What I Loved
A Novel
Siri Hustvedt

e-Book Agency

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

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
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From The Publisher

Henry Holt and Co.

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