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Siri Hustvedt: Reflections on Austen

Siri Hustvedt is internationally recognized as one of the finest contemporary American novelists. Her writing elegantly combines emotion and intellect, passion and wit. She received a PhD in English from Columbia University; her thesis on Charles Dickens focused on his late novel Our Mutual Friend, the manuscript of which is held by the Morgan. She has published a book of poems, Reading to You, and four critically acclaimed novels, The Blindfold, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved and, most recently, The Sorrows of An American. Hustvedt is also the author of two collections of essays, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, and A Plea for Eros.

"People are always saying Jane Austen's novels are a comedy of manners. But, they're also about perceiving other people, and trying to read what's going on inside them, and dialogues—and I don't mean only spoken dialogues but a kind of unspoken dialogue between people—and this is as pertinent and relevant today as it was then."