First appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle in April, 2014. In a more playful world, Siri Hustvedt’s 10th book, “The Blazing World,” wouldn’t be marketed as a novel, but as what it purports to be – an anthology. The wonder is that Hustvedt’s experiment in fragmentation tells a coherent and moving story, with a beginning, middle and end.
The subject is a controversial artist named Harriet Burden. The anthology’s “editor” has managed to track down the elusive Burden only posthumously, compiling interviews, statements and journal entries from Burden herself in an attempt to understand this driven, contradictory figure. The resulting compilation (otherwise known as a novel) is a glorious mashup of storytelling and scholarship, some of it invented. Full Review Here