With The Blazing World,
internationally bestselling author Siri Hustvedt returns to the New
York art world in her most masterful and urgent novel since What I Loved. Hustvedt, who has long been celebrated for her “beguiling, lyrical prose” (Sunday Times), tells the provocative story of the artist Harriet Burden.
After years of watching her work ignored or dismissed by critics, Burden
conducts an experiment she calls “maskings”: She presents her own art behind three male masks, concealing her female identity.
three solo shows are successful, but when Burden finally steps forward
triumphantly to reveal herself as the artist behind the exhibitions,
there are critics who doubt her. The public scandal turns on the final
exhibition, initially shown as the work of acclaimed artist Rune, who
denies Burden’s role in its creation. What no one doubts, however, is
that the two artists were intensely involved with each other. As
Burden’s journals reveal, she and Rune found themselves locked in a
charged and dangerous game that ended with the man’s bizarre death.
Ingeniously presented as a collection of texts compiled after Burden’s death, The Blazing World
unfolds from multiple perspectives. The exuberant Burden speaks—in all
her joy and fury—through extracts from her own notebooks, while critics,
fans, family members, and others offer their own conflicting opinions
of who she was and where the truth lies.
From one of the most ambitious and internationally renowned writers of her generation, The Blazing World
is a polyphonic tour de force. An intricately conceived, diabolical
puzzle, it explores the deceptive powers of prejudice, money, fame, and
desire. Emotionally intense, intellectually rigorous, ironic, and
playful, Hustvedt’s new novel is a bold, rich masterpiece, one that will
be remembered for years to come. Download and start listening now!