Siri Hustvedt

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind

Simon & Schuster

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind

A brilliant collection of essays from the prizewinning novelist, feminist, and scholar Siri Hustvedt, internationally acclaimed author of The Blazing World and What I Loved.

In a trilogy of works brought together in a single volume, Siri Hustvedt demonstrates the striking range and depth of her knowledge in both the humanities and sciences. Armed with passionate curiosity, a sense of humor, and insights from many disciplines, she repeatedly upends received ideas and cultural truisms.

“A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women” (which provided the title of this book) examines particular artworks but also human perception itself, including the biases that influence how we judge art, literature, and the world. Picasso, de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer, Susan Sontag, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Karl Ove Knausgaard all come under Hustvedt’s intense scrutiny. “The Delusions of Certainty” exposes how the age-old, unresolved mind-body problem has shaped and often distorted and confused contemporary thought in neuroscience, psychiatry, genetics, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary psychology. “What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition” includes a powerful reading of Kierkegaard, a trenchant analysis of suicide, and penetrating reflections on the mysteries of hysteria, synesthesia, memory and space, and the philosophical dilemmas of fiction.