Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt (Fiction HUSTVEDT)

We devour novels about the immigrant experience because (for starters) we–or our ancestors–immigrated to the United States; we get another understanding of our country by seeing it through new eyes; and, in a global society, increasingly, “my home is your home.” In The Sorrows of an American, these perceptions come alive through Erik Davidsen whose Norwegian ancestry is intensified through his examination of his father’s estate and its secrets. As we drift back and forth in time, we feel what it is like to adopt a second language and to learn new habits and attitudes. When Erik accepts tenants with Jamaican roots, we see the affect of a Caribbean background. What else influences these Americans, and us? Upbringing, love relationships, art, even psychotherapy. All of these and a great deal more are given thoughtful, colorful attention in Sorrows as the author and her protagonist consider what brings us to where we are: “I’ve often thought that none of us is what we imagine, that each of us normalizes the terrible strangeness of inner life with a variety of convenient fictions.”
Review by Christine

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This entry was posted on April 21, 2011 by in Book Review, Contemporary, Fiction.
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