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Siri Hustvedt is the author of four novels, a book of poetry, and a number of short stories and essays. She is the author of "The Blindfold" (1992), "The Enchantment[…]

Siri Hustvedt recommends an “extraordinary, unusual little book.”

Question: What’s your favorite rn“forgotten” novel?


Siri Hustvedt: Oh yeah.  Well,rn it's not entirely forgotten and for some people, yournknow, it's a very important book. rnBut it is a book that seems to sort of go underwater to come up arnlittle and then fall again.  And itrnis Djuna Barnes’s "Nightwood."  Thisrnis a book that was published in the '30s.  It's a rntiny little book; a dense, poetic little novel.  Irn think the current edition still hasrnT.S. Eliot's introduction to it; a very enthusiastic one. rn I have read this book now threerntimes.  It is a remarkable littlernbook about passion; sexual passion, also that is sort of living on the rnmarginsrnof a culture.  It takes place inrnParis and it's a love story between two women.  Andrn there is a character, a character that I love, whosernname is Dr. Matthew O'Connor.  He'srna transvestite kind of pseudo-doctor who gives some of the most rnwonderfulrnspeeches in literature.  And I, sornwhen I have a chance, I do come out and say, if you haven't read Djuna rnBarnes’ "Nightwood"—I think it's the only book, by the way to recommend,rn by her.  I'm not so crazy about the rest of herrnwork.  But this is a reallyrnextraordinary, unusual little book. rnAnd it's not my absolutely favorite work of literature, but it's rnonernthat I think people should look at and read more.