The Shaking Woman, Or, a History of My Nerves

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9780340998779: The Shaking Woman, Or, a History of My Nerves

While speaking at a memorial event for her father, the novelist Siri Hustvedt suffered a violent seizure from the neck down. Was it triggered by nerves, emotion - or something else entirely?In this profoundly thought-provoking and revealing book, Hustvedt takes the reader on her journey through psychiatry, philosophy, neuroscience and medical history in search of a diagnosis. Conveying the often frightening mysteries of illness, she illuminates the perenially mysterious connection between mind and body and what we mean by 'I'.

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Review:

Book Description
In this unique neurological memoir Siri Hustvedt attempts to solve her own mysterious condition. While speaking at a memorial event for her father in 2006, Siri Hustvedt suffered a violent seizure from the neck down. Despite her flapping arms and shaking legs, she continued to speak clearly and was able to finish her speech. It was as if she had suddenly become two people--a calm orator and a shuddering wreck. Then the seizures happened again and again. The Shaking Woman tracks Hustvedt's search for a diagnosis. That search introduces her to the theories of several scientific disciplines, each one of which offers a distinct perspective on her paroxysms but no ready solution. In the process, she finds herself entangled in fundamental questions: What is the relationship between brain and mind? How do we remember? What is the self?

During her investigations, Hustvedt joins a discussion group in which neurologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and brain scientists trade ideas to develop a new field: neuropsychoanalysis. She volunteers as a writing teacher for psychiatric in-patients at the Payne Whitney clinic in New York City and unearths precedents in medical history that illuminate the origins of and shifts in our theories about the mind-body problem. In The Shaking Woman, Hustvedt synthesizes her experience and research into a compelling mystery: Who is the shaking woman? In the end, the story she tells becomes, in the words of George Makari, author of Revolution in Mind, "a brilliant illumination for us all."

Amazon Exclusive: Hilary Mantel Reviews The Shaking Woman

Hilary Mantel was awarded the prestigious Man Booker Prize for her novel, Wolf Hall. She is the author of nine previous novels, including A Place of Greater Safety, A Change of Climate, and Fludd. Her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and The London Review of Books. Read her exclusive Amazon guest review of The Shaking Woman:

"Where do you get your ideas from?" novelists are often asked. "Where do you get your characters?" They are less often stolen from real life than readers imagine; they are more often generated deep inside, and stored till they are wanted. In the same way, the novelist's life, however unremarkable, has to generate the imagined stories of strangers. You are always looking inside yourself for shadowy companion selves who can be recognized and put to work.

Siri Hustvedt is a novelist with a searching intelligence, who knows that when she is not at peace with herself there is creative work going on. Her book opens with an account of her beloved father's memorial service. When she stood up to pronounce his eulogy, she began to shake--not just with a tremor of grief, but convulsively, so that she could hardly stand. She was aghast. Who was this shaking woman? Had she ever met her before?

This exhilarating and deeply intelligent book is an account of a search for her. She must be sought medically, psychologically, historically. She is a personal inner construct, part of the author's autobiography, but she is also a type, a collective. There have been shaking women before: as well as those struck down by organic diseases, there have been the 'hysterics' of nineteenth century pathology. Hustvedt sets out to explore the frontiers of neurology and psychology. She probes the history of these disciplines, and asks whether the way we organize scientific knowledge causes some of it to be lost, to leak away at the margins. It's contentious territory, where no easy formulations stand up for long; there are more uneasy questions than pat answers. Readers of Oliver Sacks will relish this book because Hustvedt displays a similar blend of scientific detachment and warm human intuition. Sensitive and highly attuned to her own processes, she is also an illuminating guide to the dark country of a writing life. --Hilary Mantel


About the Author:

Siri Hustvedt's first novel, The Blindfold, was published by Sceptre in 1993. Since then she has published The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men and The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of the poetry collection Reading To You, and four collections of essays -Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros and Living, Thinking, Looking, as well as the memoir The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has a PhD in English from Columbia University and in 2012 was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. She delivered the Schelling Lecture in Aesthetics in Munich in 2010, the Freud Lecture in Vienna in 2011 and the opening keynote at the conference to mark Kierkegaard's 200th anniversary in Copenhagen in 2013, while her latest honorary doctorate is from the University of Gutenburg in Germany. She is also Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and has written on art for the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph and several exhibition catalogues.

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Siri Hustvedt
Editorial: Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom (2011)
ISBN 10: 0340998776 ISBN 13: 9780340998779
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Descripción Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. While speaking at a memorial event for her father, the novelist Siri Hustvedt suffered a violent seizure from the neck down. Was it triggered by nerves, emotion - or something else entirely?In this profoundly thought-provoking and revealing book, Hustvedt takes the reader on her journey through psychiatry, philosophy, neuroscience and medical history in search of a diagnosis. Conveying the often frightening mysteries of illness, she illuminates the perenially mysterious connection between mind and body and what we mean by I . Nº de ref. de la librería AA69780340998779

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Siri Hustvedt
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Descripción Sceptre 2011-02-03, 2011. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-GRD-04677214

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Descripción Sceptre, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000231689

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Siri Hustvedt
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Descripción Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. While speaking at a memorial event for her father, the novelist Siri Hustvedt suffered a violent seizure from the neck down. Was it triggered by nerves, emotion - or something else entirely?In this profoundly thought-provoking and revealing book, Hustvedt takes the reader on her journey through psychiatry, philosophy, neuroscience and medical history in search of a diagnosis. Conveying the often frightening mysteries of illness, she illuminates the perenially mysterious connection between mind and body and what we mean by I . Nº de ref. de la librería AA69780340998779

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Descripción Sceptre, 2011. Estado de conservación: New. 2011. Paperback. By the bestselling author of WHAT I LOVED, an intimate and enlightening account of her search for the key to her mysterious nervous disorder, which brilliantly illuminates the connection between mind and body. Num Pages: 224 pages. BIC Classification: BM; VFJB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 156 x 15. Weight in Grams: 162. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780340998779

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Descripción Sceptre, 2011. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería GH9780340998779

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Descripción Sceptre. Estado de conservación: New. 2011. Paperback. By the bestselling author of WHAT I LOVED, an intimate and enlightening account of her search for the key to her mysterious nervous disorder, which brilliantly illuminates the connection between mind and body. Num Pages: 224 pages. BIC Classification: BM; VFJB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 156 x 15. Weight in Grams: 162. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780340998779

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Descripción Sceptre. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780340998779

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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0340998776. Nº de ref. de la librería ST0340998776

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Descripción Sceptre 2011-02-03, 2011. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-LBR-00843496

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