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Siri Hustvedt

Princess of Asturias Award for Literature 2019

Siri Hustvedt (Northfield, Minnesota, USA, 19th February 1955), novelist, essayist and poet of Norwegian origin, graduated in History from St Olaf College, obtaining her PhD in English Literature from Columbia University in 1986 with a thesis on Charles Dickens (Figures of Dust. A Reading of “Our Mutual Friend”) in which her authors of reference already appear, including Kierkegaard, Emile Benveniste, Roman Jakobson, Mikhail Bakhtin, Freud, Lacan, Mary Douglas, Ricoeur and Julia Kristeva. An expert in neuroscience and psychoanalysis, her first publication was a poem in The Paris Review. In 1982, she published a collection of poetry, Reading to You. She met Paul Auster –2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature– at a poetry reading in 1981 and they were married the following year.

A scholar and intellectual who addresses the fundamental issues of contemporary ethics and epistemology, as well as being known for her feminist militancy, her work has contributed to interdisciplinary dialogue between the sciences and the humanities. She has published essays and articles in academic and scientific journals, including Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, Neuropsychoanalysis and Clinical Neurophysiology. Her collection of 32 lectures and articles delivered and published between 2005 and 2011, Living, Thinking, Looking (2012), is a sample of her profound, comprehensive scholarship in various disciplines. In this collection, she develops some of her favourite themes related to literature, philosophy, psychology, psychoanalysis and the neurosciences.

Translated into more than thirty languages, Hustvedt published her first novel, The Blindfold, in 1992 and achieved international renown with her third book, What I Loved (2003). In 2009, she published the essay entitled The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. She likewise has a great interest in painting and has given talks on this subject at the Prado Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as well as publishing a volume of essays entitled Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting (2005). Other works of hers include: The Enchantment of Lily Dahl (1996), The Sorrows of an American (2008), The Summer Without Men (2011), The Blazing World (2014), Reading to You (1982), Yonder (1998) and A Plea for Eros (2005). Her lastest published collection of essays is entitled A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women (2016).

Holder of an honorary degree from Stendhal University, Grenoble (2015), she received the 2004 Quebec Booksellers Award for What I Loved and the 2012 Gabarron International Prize for Thought and Humanities for her research work and her ideas on philosophy, neuroscience and psychology.

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