A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind


A compelling and radical collection of essays on art, feminism, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy from prize-winning novelist Siri Hustvedt, the acclaimed author of The Blazing World and What I Loved.

Siri Husvedt has always been fascinated by biology and how human perception works. She is a lover of art, the humanities, and the sciences. She is a novelist and a feminist. Her lively, lucid essays in A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women begin to make some sense of those plural perspectives.

Divided into three parts, the first section, “A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women,” investigates the perceptual and gender biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general. Among the legendary figures considered are Picasso, De Kooning, Jeff Koons, Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer, Susan Sontag, Robert Mapplethorpe, the Guerrilla Girls, and Karl Ove Knausgaard.

The second part, “The Delusions of Certainty,” is about the age-old mind/body problem that has haunted Western philosophy since the Greeks. Hustvedt explains the relationship between the mental and the physical realms, showing what lies beyond the argument—desire, belief, and the imagination.

The final section, “What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition,” discusses neurological disorders and the mysteries of hysteria. Drawing on research in sociology, neurobiology, history, genetics, statistics, psychology, and psychiatry, this section also contains a profound and powerful consideration of suicide.

There has been much talk about building a beautiful bridge across the chasm that separates the sciences and the humanities. At the moment, we have only a wobbly walkway, but Hustvedt is encouraged by the travelers making their way across it in both directions. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women is an insightful account of the journeys back and forth.

Title:A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind
Edition Language:English
Format Type:
Number of Pages:576 pages

    A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind Reviews

  • Elyse

    "A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind", was at times an unfathomable experience----but given that Siri's new book is about human life, it seems reasonable that whi...

  • Hannah

    I feel really bad about not finishing this book. And it definitely reflects more on me than on the book - because it is a me-thing this time. I do not have the mental capacity to read this book at the...

  • Kathleen

    My review for the Chicago Tribune:http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifesty...Siri, the computer program that operates as an artificially intelligent personal assistant, appears to know the answers to eve...

  • Viv JM

    ?A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women? is a book of essays split into three sections. The first contains essays about art and criticism, the second part is almost the length of an entire book i...

  • Roland

    Way off my territory but an exceptional read. I understood about two thirds of it. Fantastic and much food for thought....

  • Mientras Leo

    Me considero una mujer feminista, sin embargo creo que en esta ocasión a la autora se le va de las manos y pasa al ataque perdiendo ese punto de razonamiento que hace tan interesantes (y necesarios) ...


    As a person interested in Neuroscience I was super happy of reading this book as a preview for netgalley and I was not disappointed. Siri Hustved was able to convey a lot of information in a clear way...

  • Joslyn Allen

    Review published at https://chronicbibliophilia.wordpress...This will be a shockingly short review for an immense book. Siri Hustvedt is a well-respected, much lauded writer. Her writing crosses genre...

  • Roman Clodia

    This is a collection of essays which fall into that space which is not academic (though Hustvedt herself has a literature PhD and lectures in psychiatry) and yet has some high-brow intellectual conten...

  • Christie

    I couldn't finish. Pretentious and boring. She makes some excellent points about the art world and the disparity within it, but when she talks about pornography as almost some sort of social experimen...