The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt explores what happens when intellect fails, order dissolves, and one has to rely on strangers to reconstruct one’s life. Hustvedt’s protagonist, Mia, is a literature lecturer and small-time poet who temporarily loses control of her mental faculties when her husband of thirty years requests a ‘pause’ in their marriage following an indiscretion with a young colleague. A brief sojourn in a psychiatric facility follows, after which Mia relocates to Minnesota to spend time with her ageing mother and a colourful group of old women. She reassembles her life through unconventional relationships with the women, a young family, and a group of troublesome adolescent girls.
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'There is a chilling moment as he describes a gun hovering over him as its holder tries to make up his mind as to whether Lançon is dead or alive.'
Andrew Hussey reviews Philippe Lançon's extraordinary first-hand account of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Tales from the New Bedlam: my piece on Tim Etchells' ENDLAND in the current Literary Review https://literaryreview.co.uk/tales-from-the-new-bedlam via @Lit_Review There's a paywall but the first bit's free . . .
Here's my Christmas children's book round up for @Lit_Review featuring @TheSallyGardner @FrancesHardinge @hilary_mckay @FisherAuthor Alison Moore @chrisriddell50 Ben Manley @emmachichesterc https://literaryreview.co.uk/shipwrecks-spectres