Siri Hustvedt: TOP TEN BOOKS

Siri Hustvedt by Rebecca Miller for Observer Magazine

Siri Hustvedt by Rebecca Miller

Siri Hustvedt was 13 when she got the writing bug. Her father, a professor of Norwegian, had taken his wife and four daughters with him to Reykjavík, where he was studying the Icelandic sagas. Unable to sleep during the perpetually bright nights, she immersed herself in the classics, reading The Count of Monte Cristo and David Copperfield, among others. She remembers thinking, ‘If this is what books are, this is what I’m going to do.’” She has written seven novels, including The Blazing World, long-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, and her most recent, Memories of the Future, which explores memory, identity, and sexual politics. In addition to her fiction she has published poetry, and many works of non-fiction which often explore her interests in art, language, and neurology. She is married to the writer Paul Auster.

Below are Siri Hustvedt’s favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set.


The Holy Bible

Lots of exciting stories, poems, and mysteries for a stranger in a strange land.
Add to cart

Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes
Although it was published in 1605, this hilarious and brilliant book seems to contain all the possibilities of the novel in a single volume.
Add to cart

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë
This diabolical work of fiction is so complex in its structure that I remain awed by it. I have no doubt that I could read it again and again and still not get to the bottom of it.
Add to cart

To The Lighthouse

Virginia Woolf
My admiration for this book is complete. It is as beautiful, poignant, and ruthless as anything I have ever read. 
Add to cart


No one can agree about what Heraclitus actually meant or how to characterize his philosophy. This is promising for desert island reading because I could spend hours puzzling over just one of riddles.
Add to cart

Complete Works of Aristotle

I refer to the philosopher often and would need him on my island, too.
Add to cart


Soren Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard’s ironies have driven me crazy for many years, but I crave them anyway. Every time I read it, this novel as philosophy or philosophy as novel never stops producing new meanings.
Add to cart

Collected Poems Of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
Dickinson has amazed me since I was eleven years old.
Add to cart

Gravity and Grace

Simone Weil
This extraordinary book takes you into a luminous mind at work.
Add to cart

Process and Reality

Alfred North Whitehead
Whitehead is a bold philosopher who fascinates me, but this book is maddeningly difficult. Weeks of reading and rereading might make it a wee bit easier.
Add to cart