Siri Hustvedt has never been afraid to go against the grain, and her seventh novel, Memories of the Future, confirms it. She has important things to say about sexual politics, capitalism and art but enjoying this book as a reader means relinquishing the desire for the plot to make linear, logical sense.
Those of us who love her work will consider it worth the mental switch, and there is a great deal of transformative joy to be found in this story of a young woman arriving in New York to find her voice as a writer. The 23-year-old in question is later known by the initials “SH” and is nicknamed “Minnesota”, the state Hustvedt herself is from.
The similarities between the author and her fictional heroine don’t end there: as a student, Hustvedt looked pale enough with hunger for a university professor to encourage her to ask for an emergency loan. In the novel, SH rescues a cheese sandwich from a garbage bin so that she will have something to eat.