Elle Magazine: Meet the Brilliant Women Who Succeeded in the Macho Worlds of Science and Art
Eziah Weir writing for Elle in December, 2016: "Brilliant women finding ways around macho constructs in science and art—and turning them to their advantage—is also the topic of novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt's new essay collection, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women (Simon & Schuster). Unlike (Dava) Sobel's biographical history, Hustvedt's book is a psychosocial commentary and critique, its scope ranging from the racial and sexual politics of hair, to epigenetics, to art criticism. (She is also a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill Medical School in New York.) In one essay, "Balloon Magic," Hustvedt compares a complex, innovative sculpture series by the twentieth-century artist Louise Bourgeois to Jeff Koons's giant orange balloon dog. For decades, Hustvedt writes in a later piece in the book, "Bourgeois stayed home and made sculptures." Hustvedt likens her to Emily Dickinson, who stayed home and wrote poems; I was reminded of the female computers inside their observatories, reading photographic plates. But Bourgeois saw her period of seclusion as good luck. After years honing her craft out of the limelight, in her late seventies she finally began receiving recognition—as Hustvedt says, "blasting out into the world."