The Booker Prize-nominated author offers a new novel about a woman in her 60s who finds her old diary and reads it, remembering her time as a penniless young writer in 1970s New York, where she became fascinated by her mysterious neighbor and the conversations she hears through the walls.
Few contemporary writers are as satisfying and stimulating to read as Siri Hustvedt. Her sentences dance with the elation of a brilliant intellect romping through a playground of ideas, and her prose is just as lively when engaged in the development of characters and story. Her wonderful new novel, Memories of the Future, is, among other things, a meditation on memory, selfhood and aging ... Hustvedt’s lovely novel closes by reclaiming one of those people and imagining her soaring over Manhattan, an image of freedom and agency that is always endangered, always to be fought for.
... vivid ... Memories of the Future is narrated with a crisp, professorial tone, which risks coming across more like cultural critique than fiction ... If [the book's obsessions sound] like thesis fodder, Hustvedt has the imaginative mastery to encase complex ideas in the flesh and blood needed to render them visceral.
Reading a Hustvedt novel is like consuming the best of David Lynch on repeat ... Ideas somersault nimbly in the novel as memoir jostles with memories. Primarily, SH writes of a past of navigated possibility from a future of unforeseen jeopardy: in 2017, the established novelist laments the current political scene of progression lurching backwards. It is a point at which both SH and her creator appear, in this intense, high-spirited Bildungsroman, to have come full circle.