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The Blazing World: A Novel Audiobook, by Siri Hustvedt Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Siri Hustvedt Narrator: Patricia Rodriguez, Eric Meyers Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2014 ISBN: 9781442370876
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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. 

The 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Blazing indeed: not just with Harry’s fury, but with agonizing compassion for all of wounded humanity.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Larger-than-life Harry reads vociferously, loves fervently, and overflows with intellectual and creative energy….Hustvedt dissects the art world with ironic insight….This is a funny, sad, through-provoking, and touching portrait of a woman who is blazing with postfeminist fury and propelled by artistic audacity.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize
  • A 2014 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
  • Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction

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About the Author

Siri Hustvedt is the internationally acclaimed author of several novels, as well as a growing body of nonfiction. n 2012 she was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. Her novel The Blazing World won the Lost Angeles Book Prize for Fiction and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. She has also published numerous papers in scholarly and scientific journals. She has a PhD in English literature from Columbia University and is a lecturer in psychiatry.

About the Narrators

Patricia Rodriguez was the original voice actress for Sue Ellen Armstrong and Francine’s sister Catherine Frensky on the children’s television series, Arthur. Also an audiobook narrator, she has read numerous titles by Siri Hustvedt, Heather O’Neill, and Donna Milner.

Eric Meyers, an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, is a well-known character actor and voice artist. His film credits include Entrapment, Snatch, and 1408. He has created many voices for animation, including Henry the Lizard on the hit television series Amazing Animals. He is often heard narrating documentary films on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.