"And who among us would deny Jane Austen her happy endings or insist that Cary Grant and Irene Dunne should get back together at the end of The Awful Truth? There are tragedies and there are comedies, aren't there? And they are often more the same than different, rather like men and women, if you ask me. A comedy depends on stopping the story at exactly the right moment."
Mia Fredrickson, the wry, vituperative, tragic comic, poet narrator of The Summer Without Men, has been forced to reexamine her own life. One day, out of the blue, after thirty years of marriage, Mia's husband, a renowned neuroscientist, asks her for a "pause." This abrupt request sends her reeling and lands her in a psychiatric ward. The June following Mia's release from the hospital, she returns to the prairie town of her childhood, where her mother lives in an old people's home. Alone in a rented house, she rages and fumes and bemoans her sorry fate. Slowly, however, she is drawn into the lives of those around her - her mother and her close friends, "the Five Swans," and her young neighbor with two small children and a loud angry husband - and the adolescent girls in her poetry workshop whose scheming and petty cruelty carry a threat all their own.
From the internationally bestselling author of What I Loved comes a provocative, witty, and revelatory novel about women and girls, love and marriage, and the age-old question of sameness and difference between the sexes.
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"Instead of being another novel of a woman on the brink, this becomes an adroit take on love, men and women, and girls and women." - Publishers Weekly
"Lighthearted but not lightweight - a smart, sassy reflection on the varieties of female experience." - Kirkus Reviews
"Starred Review. What joy to see Hustvedt... have such mordant fun in this saucy and scathing novel about men and women, selfishness and generosity. In Mia, Hustvedt has created a companionable and mischievous narrator to cherish, a healthy-minded woman of high intellect, blazing humor, and boundless compassion." - Donna Seaman, Booklist
"[A] book that shines with intellectual curiosity and emotional integrity." - The Guardian (UK)
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Siri Hustvedt is the author of the novels, The Blindfold, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Summer Without Men and The Blazing World; as well as three collections of essays, A Plea for Eros, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, and Living, Thinking, Looking; as well as the nonfiction work: The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. What I Loved and The Summer Without Men were international bestsellers. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Femina Etranger in France, and she is the recipient of the 2012 International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Paul Auster.
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