The Summer Without Men Kindle ô The Summer MOBI

The Summer Without Men [PDF] ✩ The Summer Without Men ❤ Siri Hustvedt – A Summer Without Summer Movies – Reasoncom So ends the summer without summer movies For the first time in my lifetime there were no seuels no remakes no reboots no high concept thrillers no The Summ A Summer Without Summer Movies – Reasoncom So ends the summer without summer movies For the first time in my lifetime there were no seuels no remakes no reboots no high concept thrillers no The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt Firstly I The Summer MOBI :Ê should note that a book called The Summer Without Men and a cover image of a woman with outstretched arms already seems like a noxious clich But if you think this is going to be a story of women affirming each other's womanliness and so forth in a pastoral setting or some such thing think again Rather I got a beautifully vicious snarky novel by one of America's finest The summer without festivals New Statesman The Year Without a Summer by at Latitude The Year Without a Summer takes its title from a phenomenon that occurred in the summer of wherein many parts of the world experienced extreme weather conditions Dramatic storms and colorful skies gave inspiration to Romantic art as witnessed in works by JMW Turner and Casper Friedrich; while poor harvests economic decline and civil unrest influenced Mary Shelley’s writing of Can there be a Song of the Summer in a year The Song of the Summer has always been a Rorschach test You have your obvious by the numbers winners — think “Old Town Road” last year or “Call Me Maybe” earlier in the decade — and ‘It’s Been Really Difficult’ Dallas Working Parents What does summer look like during a pandemic Working parents share their experiences and the challenge of coming up with alternatives for a summer without summer camps school programs or A European Summer Without Americans Threatens A European Summer Without Americans Threatens Already Struggling Luxury Hotels Cameron Sperance Skift Jul pm Skift Take The EU’s ban on American travelers is another revenue How to plan for a summer without camp – The We asked David Bryfman the CEO of the Jewish Education Project and Meredith Lewis Director of Content at PJ Library about planning a summer without camp Here’s what they have to say Here No Payoff Summer Without Fairs Leaves Farm Kids No Payoff Summer Without Fairs Leaves Farm Kids Heartbroken Among the many summertime traditions being hit hard by the coronavirus are the nation’s county and state fairs In a summer without the track Saratoga Springs A lack of customers seemed like the last problem restaurants in Saratoga Springs would ever have during the summer months — but in a season without fans at the track that's exactly what they.

10 thoughts on “The Summer Without Men

  1. Oriana Oriana says:

    My latest for CCLaPI will admit that I can be very smug I've been obsessively immersed in books for so long now that I tend to have opinions on everything literary founded or un So of course I had an opinion about Siri Hustvedt wife of Paul Auster posed kind of ridiculously in her author photo with her black turtleneck and piercing stare writer of what? I'm not sure what I thought she wrote mainstream ish fiction for smart moms maybe? Stuff like The Time Traveler's Wife or The Memory Keeper's Daughter or anything by Jodi Picoult where it's all plangent and emotional but in a kind of self absorbed way and has meaty characters but predictable plots full of poignancy and exuisite misery Or something I haven't read those other books either so who knows I could be wrong about them too Anyway I'd been sure that the books Siri wrote were not ones I'd necessarily scorn but also not anything I was in a hurry to pick up And I will further admit that I often let my preconceptions become self fulfilling prophesies So when I started this book and realized it was going to be about a bunch of girls a middle aged cuckoldee a handful of widows in an old folks' home a passel of tweens in a poetry class a young mother and her voluble bewigged toddler I wasn't really thrilled Those are obvious choices of people to write about over tilled ground seemingly automatically ready to go off into clichéd sentimental territory where everyone teaches each other valuable life lessons by sharing pain and going through trauma and coming out stronger on the other sideAnd it's true in some ways that's what happened But oh Siri charmed me She wooed me and impressed me and dragged me over to her side She's super smart but subtle about it not cloying or show offy like the hipster kids I so adore Marisha Pessl Benjamin Kunkel et al She weaves the many narratives deftly with a really mature and intentional sense of pacing Her language is lovely She spatters the narrative with all kinds of musings on psychology philosophy physiology history literature which are all actually relevant if not to the actual plot than to the mind of the narrator whose thoughts we spend the whole novel navigating Lots of the book is in fact about other books there are book club meetings and poetry classes and uite a lot of reading and musing on reading She also does this cool thing where she subverts her own use of bad clichés by having the narrator then actually picture the cliché to diffuse it which I surprisingly really loved And she's got some good meta ness too some breaking of the fourth wall and earnestly addressing the reader taking us by the hand or blindfolding us or otherwise revealing her own machinations before she performs them thus further distancing her from the sentimental heavily plotted pabulum that I'd been afraid I was in forI'm not saying the book was without flaws Certainly not all the characters are as full as they could be the seven tweens were virtually indistinguishable to me even after repeated mentions of this or that trait assigned to one or the other but that's not unfitting for the plot arc they were involved in which was one of shifting narratives fluid identities tweenagerhood as a many headed beast rather than a selection of individuals And the old ladies were seemingly ranked in order of importance to the narrator and assigned characterizations accordingly but isn't that a bit like life? You don't know everything about all your mom's friends; you know a few interesting things about the ones you find interesting And then also she did this weird amateur thing which I can't believe her publisher let her get away with actually where instead of using italics for emphasis she used ALL CAPS like some shouting internet commenter which was totally bizarre and made me cringe every time and probably wouldn't bother people who aren't copyeditors but still is just wrongBut on the whole this was a really engaging book very smart very full I'm trying to say that I was wrong okay? I'm allowing myself to loosen my grip on a deeply held conviction and admit fault Aren't you proud of me? Just don't expect me to pick up Lovely Bones anytime soon

  2. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    35 starsSingle moments those moments you're having a conversation with someone and you get lost within the jumble of words because your mind wraps itself around only a few phrases gingerly separating them from the rest Suddenly these words hang in moments around you sticking to your tongue like wet cotton candy enfolding into word clouds Forget the conversation; you only hear those succulent words as they nourish your brain's appetite While reading this book I had uite a few of these single concentrated moments when I wanted to disappear into the syntactical universe of some word orderings And then a conversational moment a differently styled narration enters and takes my word cloud away Then again I guess this is what happens when a fifty something year old woman is abandoned by a husband who wants a pause This is what happens when this woman has had a brother in law who is mentally ill and with whom she shares oneness This is what happens when a woman has to enter a mental ward when she sees the women around her falter and die when she has to face old age in its wrinkled eye and when she goes from being a professor at a reputable university like Columbia to teaching poetry to high school teenagers who bully each other and have boy problems normal teenage baggage I guess Single moments are those moments you see her pause to consider life her life Hustevedt is a talented writer who writes with brevity voice and wit If you can follow the many parallel narratives taking place within a single first person point of view you will have a blast If not you will be a bit disappointed Out of the many passages I enjoyed insufflating if I were to pinpoint my single moment it would be this one Some of us are fated to live in a box from which there is only temporary release We of the damned up spirits of the thwarted feelings of the blocked hearts and the pent up thoughts we who long to blast out flood forth in a torrent of rage or joy or even madness but there is nowhere for us to go nowhere in the world because no one will have us as we are and there is nothing to do except to embrace the secret pleasures of our sublimations the arc of a sentence the kiss of a rhyme the image that forms on paper or canvas the inner cantata the cloistered embroidery the dark and dreaming needlepoint from hell or heaven or purgatory of none of those three but there must be some sound and fury from us some clashing cymbals in the void Who would deny us the mere pantomime of frenzy?

  3. Maria Maria says:

    When Mia's husband Boris asks for a pause from their 30 year marriage to go frolicking with a French coworker Mia ups and leaves for her home town to spend the summer there while trying to figure things out In my first Hustvedt novel I was charmed entertained and exposed to uite a lot of philosophy feminism and neuroscience It was a successful mix To occupy herself throughout the summer Mia teaches a poetry workshop for a handful of local girls She also visits her mother who lives in an apartment building for senior citizens and meets her mother's friends The descriptions of old age in this book is both raw and touching It was very well done and something that gives the book a dept and strength of narrative that makes it really good Mia also gets to know her next door neighbor a young mother struggling to care for a toddler Flora and a baby Simon while her husband is working And there we have it An all female cast of characters except baby Simon representing all ages from toddler to elderly Maleness is not completely absent though Boris is often on Mia's mind and there are a few other males circling the outskirts of the story When he first announced he wanted a pause she had a mental breakdown later she's filled with anger and criticism towards him and later still she seems to be thoughtful and uncertain about what she feels and wants Who are we really underneath the roles of mother wife crone? And who do we want to be if we could throw away those roles? This book is about identity and going through different phases of life than just bashing away at male dominance although feminism is also an important theme throughout In fact Hustvedt's analysis of injustice has a humor colorfulness and preciseness to it that reminded me a lot of Margaret AtwoodHustvedt doesn't tell a strictly chronological story She jumps back and forth uite a lot We get to see glimpses of Mia's everyday life babysitting teaching visiting her mother interspersed with paragraphs or sometimes pages of gender theory a bit of neuroscience history and some of Mia's memories She is trying to find herself anew To find the pre Boris Mia and to figure out if she wants him back or if she is happier without him What I found the most fascinating about this book is that it tells a small handful of stories we've all heard before Clichés The teenagers that scheme and bully The young mother struggling alone with her kids while her husband is working The deceived middle aged wife But clichés are clichés for a reason they do happen very often And to the people they happen to it's a very personal and uniue and painful experience Hustvedt manages through Mia to convey both the individual experience and to see the bigger pattern She sees the pain of the individual that goes through it for the first time and the cultural structures that ensures that this happens to so many people over and over again And her observations are always insightful

  4. Teresa Teresa says:

    4 and 12 starsThis is a 'mature' novel that's very aware of itself as being a novel though the fictional narrator is writing her own story It's also both and less than a novel with discourses than plot which the narrator herself points out than halfway through and going against what we've been taught about fiction it's telling than showing and it all works As Francine Prose writes in Reading Like a Writer using an an Alice Munro story as an example There are many occasions in literature in which telling is far effective than showing Such is the case with this novelAt first I wondered at the wisdom of a cover and title that seems almost chick lit ish but now I'm thinking it's intentional though it's far far from what people think of as 'chick lit' Perhaps the author means to turn its sometime conventions a wandering husband a book group though it's of older women and a poetry workshop though of pubescent girls on its head while implying very very subtly that it can be art though it's considered 'narrow' by critics just as Jane Austen was And while she makes a case for 'narrow' art really a case for all kinds of art this slim novel is much than narrow impressively encompassing uite a lot

  5. switterbug (Betsey) switterbug (Betsey) says:

    The front cover of the advanced reader's copy I hold in my hand depicts a woman dynamically in flight yet with an image of dismemberment as the title takes the place of the woman's trunk Hustvedt is no stranger to dismemberment both in fiction and in life If you peer into her history with novelist husband Paul Auster you will note that she has a stepson with a troubled past that features dismemberment although once removed In THE BLINDFOLD the main character Iris Siri spelled backwards examines the detritus of a murdered woman's life including a severed finger in a box In WHAT I LOVED Gile's art is centered on dismembered bodies In this novel dismemberment is often metaphorical such as the protagonist's separation from her sanity Mia is an educated woman with a PhD in comparative literature married to boorish Boris a neuroscientist She had a mental breakdown and spent time in the loony bin Now Boris wants a pause in their thirty year marriage so that he can have an affair with a young French colleague There are scenes from the book that create an image of bodily separation andor disintegration After crumbling to bits I had lost that brisk confidence in the wheels of my own mind When Mia first meets the child next door she is only partly visible her short naked legs and then later atop the dollhouse her wigged top Harpo Marx head comes into view Later when describing the pubescent pupils she is teaching in her summer poetry class all girls she describes one who constantly adjusted her arms and legs as if they were alien limbs Hustvedt's recurring themes of exile separation identity and the dislocation and severing of the self is examined in her latest novel The premise is Mia's personal journey to reconstitute herself and to emerge whole individual changed Mia escapes from Brooklyn to the provincial Minnesota town of her childhood to be nearer her mother Here she becomes part of her mother's octogenarian group of friends who she calls The Five Swans These aging sheltered debilitated women are surprisingly stout and vigorous in ways that both endear and enlighten Mia the Five shared a mental toughness and autonomy that gave them a veneer of enviable freedom And that dear reader is something to discover for yourself Dear reader? That is how Mia addresses us and her notebook detailing her former sexual adventures of her life before she met Boris the rat man She visits her low key therapist once a week keeps a close but distant correspondence with her actress daughter Daisy and indulges in emails with a Mr Nobody a derisive and anonymous somebody that contacted her online The structure of the novel is where this story had slender success with me She didn't take on a new theme middle aged woman is dumped by husband suffers a breakdown works to reconstitute self so it is necessary that she engage the reader with a fresh approach The approach she utilized often felt forced flat or strained Despite the flying woman on the cover there was meager liftoff inside the pages Her inclusion of art poetry psychology and science a techniue she has used with impeccable agency in the past felt dispatched and rhetorical The Dear Reader was coy and distracting The structure was too much like a blog which made it candied instead of candid Hustvedt has been one of my favorite writers for several years I have been swept up in her ability to bend it like Beckett deliver like DeLillo and ruminate with the cerebral province and style In fact she avoided the pitfalls of stylistic prose until this novel It is aiming to be whimsical charming and mordant It comes off as pointedly uaint and capricious and doesn't read like the mature Hustvedt I am used to reading Regardless of the scholarly inclusions it seemed superficial It was lazy writing propped up with obscure uotes she decanted couettishly Hustvedt capitalized with upper case too many wordspassages as if she were afraid we wouldn't get the nuance ourselves It made those passages clunky and amateurish Additionally she employed too many clichés and worn out phrases And if you want to watch adolescent girls impugn each other read CAT'S EYE a much thorough and chilling portrait I realize that Hustvedt was just gazing gauzily through these many devices but I felt like she was telling me something rather than taking me on a journey If I had never read this author before I may have assigned three stars for the few times I was delighted with the story One of the Swans created some astonishing embroideries and Hustvedt's sensitivity and insight into aging is often spot on However her psychotic break was canned and almost embarrassing in its effort to seem authentic Mia's odyssey of change was stale and discharged I am disappointed in this corny ponderously whimsical novel by a usually fierce and imaginative author

  6. Antonomasia Antonomasia says:

    Polymathic chicklit with a PhD something I'd been hoping to find for ten years Some time ago I had concluded it just didn't get published as there wasn't enough of an audience I'd never read Siri Hustvedt before assuming that her books were yet run of the mill English language literary fiction The rest of her work does still sound that way to me TBH But a few weeks ago I idly clicked on reviews for this book and among the negative ones it was criticised by chicklit readers for being too pretentious and by literary readers for being too superficial And also how was it a Summer Without Men if she uoted male writers and philosophers all the time?This tale of Mia an academic and poet on a break from her marriage sounded very promisingWe have such chicklit cliches such as a younger French Other Woman; going back to a former home town after a relationship breakup; one sided ranting about the failings of the errant man; a group of schoolgirls who remind the protagonist of her younger days; a book group of elderly ladies reading Jane Austen; characters who whilst not noted for their wealth never worry about moneyAlongside such things standard chicklit often has bright characters who are denoted by brief references to their study or work and the use of a couple of longer words in conversation but if you'd like to know about that side of them you're inevitably disappointedNot here Reflections on the ideas of philosophers and poets and not just the best known ones form substantial parts of Mia's thoughts; we have a page long ponder of affective neuroscience; an obscure set of Goya prints form an apt backdrop to a scene involving bitchy preteens; punning references to the linguistic turn; and the ridiculously hip occurrence of some subversive vintage embroidery I could go on I like it when a book gives me a few things I don't know to look up but not so many that this interrupts the flow of the story and this was perfect on that count Mia feels very deeply and thinks knows very deeply too If she were a real person I would want to be friends with her I only had two disappointments with this book One it doesn't have chapters Two the lack of references to psychology other than Freud and that Mia didn't seek to tie up some of the neuroscience musings with her own experiences of a brief breakdown and recovery or the past aspects of her relationship Some attachment theory for instance would have worked perfectly I recall a couple of other reviewers saying there was too much self analysis in this book; I would have liked if the narrator accompanied it with reference and theory as she does so well in some other subject areasI loved this book but I hesitate to give it five stars at least on here to stand in my list alongside the likes of Kavalier and Clay and Middlemarch; yet its moments of glaring cliche alongside its erudition are what made it work so very well for me as comfort reading

  7. Marc Marc says:

    This was a slightly lesser Hustvedt for once but still it is worth reading As the title suggests relationships between men and women play a central role in this novel but the men are not the main characters they are literally absent It’s Mia Fredericksen that is the supposed writer of these memories and musings She’s a 55 year old professor of literature suddenly left by her husband for a young chick after 30 years of marriage and she has a hard time coming to terms with that trauma After a collapse and a period in psychiatry she returns to her hometown in Minnesota in the circle of elder widows around her mother who – of course – also have had their experiences with men And to pass the time she temporally teaches a group of teenage girls in which she recognizes her own pubertal struggles Both circles old and young and a few side intrigues will eventually bring Mia to a form of purification Mia muses a lot about the male female differences or the lack of it and about her own identity but she regularly adds many other themes the horrendous fate of getting older; the difficult social position of adolescents who are a bit 'different'; the subversive power of eroticism; normality and insanity in women in the transition etc All interesting psychological themes indeed as in Hustvedt's previous novels but this time it resonated less with me maybe because I’m a man? I suspect that this is rather due to the composition the hesitant nature of Mia’s search for a new balance is reflected in a fickle succession of events intrigues and styles which are not so captivating as a whole In general this book goes less deep and is much less loaded than the previous ones But do not worry Siri Hustvedt still remains one of the best contemporary writers25 stars

  8. Blair Blair says:

    I probably never would have read this if it hadn't been for the other Siri Hustvedt books I've read What I Loved and The Sorrows of an American I've got to admit that the title and premise didn't really appeal to me sounding as they do like highbrow chick lit The basic outline of the story is this Mia a poet in her fifties has a nervous breakdown when her scientist husband tells her he wants a 'pause' in their marriage in order for him to start an affair with a younger colleague After recovering she moves to the town she grew up in to be close to her elderly mother and teach a poetry class to a group of 12 and 13 year old girls and she also befriends her next door neighbours a young couple with two children If I didn't know better I'd have thought this sounded like a rather saccharine affair While reading it I did often wonder how many readers had picked it up expecting something fluffy and been baffled by the freuent discussion of philosophy literature and madness it contains But having loved the uality of Hustvedt's writing so much particularly in the brilliant What I Loved I was pretty sure I would enjoy it nevertheless This is a moving deliberately sentimental story with wry humour than its predecessors and a very individual narrator Mia seems incredibly real she isn't afraid to show her anger there's a lot of capitalisation such as you might find in a personal diary which made me realise how infreuently you see this in fiction her bitterness at her husband deserting her after she has played such an important role in his career her jealousy of 'the Pause' her real feelings about the young girls she teaches she's often critical of them and their work at one point even branding one of the girls 'moronic' Alongside Mia's own story subplots emerge her neighbour Lola's husband Pete appears worryingly volatile and angry; one of her students Alice is the target of cruel bullying by the other girls; Mia herself receives mysterious emails from a 'Mr Nobody' which begin as childish abuse but eventually turn into intelligent discourse The Summer Without Men is much shorter than Hustvedt's previous novels and feels very much as if it's intended to be read in one sitting; there are no chapters and Mia often lapses into stream of consciousness prose She breaks the narrative to address the reader directly digresses into ruminations on various philosophical theories and literary techniues changes the way she describes what's happening sometimes it's a traditional first person 'here's what happened' story with dialogue and so on at other times Mia merely sketches a brief outline of events and occasionally she jumps into the future or summons up an old memory in the middle of whatever's happening in the here and now It sometimes feels like a strange mixture and I can understand how some readers might be put off by parts of it such as Mia's occasional and very frank references to sex and sexuality Mia isn't always likeable but personally I think this is intentional; her sometimes pretentious tone and tendency to hysteria are part of what makes the character feel like a real person My main problem with the narrative was differentiating the groups of characters particularly the teenage girls It's not that I don't think Hustvedt is capable of developing their characters it's just that the brevity of the book doesn't really allow it I thought this was a perfectly formed little story I was a bit disappointed by the ending but I expected and understood it and Mia was a fantastic character but altogether it lacked substance compared to Hustvedt's other novels It's difficult to imagine what I'd have made of it if I hadn't read anything by the author before and I'm glad I didn't come to this book first because I think my reaction might have been negative I don't think anyone reading this should expect it all to be neatly wrapped up at the end it's as though you're observing a slice of real life so not everything gets resolved; view spoilerwe never discover who 'Mr Nobody' is and although Lola receives an almost miraculous financial windfall the uestion of how stable her relationship with Pete really is remains hide spoiler

  9. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    Thirty years on poet Mia Fredricksen’s husband Boris asks her for a pause in their marriage so he can explore his feelings for his young French lab assistant First things first Mia goes crazy and ends up in a mental hospital for a short time But then she sucks it up and goes back to her Minnesota hometown to teach poetry writing to teen girls for a summer getting sucked into a bullying drama She also makes friends with her neighbors and her mother’s cadre of old ladies – I especially loved Abigail and her habit of adding secret silly disturbing or sexual scenes to her embroideryThis is a capable if not groundbreaking story of the shifts that happen in a long marriage and the strange things we all do as we face down the possibility of death There are also some wry comments about the unappreciated talents of the female artist However compared to the other two novels I’ve read from Hustvedt this seemed thin and a little bit feeble Very much a minor achievement but a uick and enjoyable enough summer readFavorite lines“Thirty years is a long time and a marriage acuires an ingrown almost incestuous uality with complex rhythms of feeling dialogue and associations”“If a man opens a novel he likes to have a masculine name on the cover; it’s reassuring somehow You never know what might happen to that external genitalia if you immerse yourself in imaginary doings concocted by someone with the goods on the inside”“After all we none of us can ever untangle the knot of fictions that make up that wobbly thing we call a self”“We all smell of mortality and we can’t wash it off”

  10. Ing Ing says:

    I started this book with the feeling that I would enjoy it a lot I didn't It's not a bad novel and I can certainly see how many people enjoy it but the problem for me was that the characters felt like they weren't fleshed out enough I didn't get a connection to Mia as the main character I thought the widows has potential to be interesting but too little attention was paid to them to make me truly connect I thought that the young girls in the poetry class were the ones that were characterised the best and I would've liked to see even of that Heck if the novel had been about the girls taking a poetry class and their teacher I probably would have loved this novel But as it stands it seems kind of directionless Neither here nor there really It brings in too many people without giving us enough of them to truly connect The neighbours for example are included in the story but not nearly enough for me to care about what happens to them Frankly they could probably have been removed and I wouldn't bat an eye And I don't know The most telling thing for me is that I found myself wanting a novel about the poetry class maybe exploring the girls' lives and then also Mia's background as the teacher and I wanted this novel than the novel I was reading

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