Robert Yates

A Woman and Four Men

The Blindfold


Hodder & Stoughton 221pp £8.99 order from our bookshop

Love Your Enemies


Faber & Faber 184pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

‘I’m not sure “like” is the right word,’ answers Iris Vegan, the narrator-protagonist of The Blindfold, when asked if she likes the German novella she is translating. Appraising The Blindfold itself, one is tempted to echo her judgement. Its qualities are the sort one admires rather than warms to: its style is cool and analytical, its architecture precise and its themes disquieting. Hustvedt, a Minnesotan, lives in New York, and the city, particularly downtown Manhattan, leaves its neurotic, soiled imprint all over the novel, her first. This is a New York shared with such as Mary Gaitskill and Hustvedt’s husband Paul Auster. Modernist themes – alienation, troubled identity, the irrational – are given contemporary trappings and fixed in the collapsing city.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,