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Siri Hustvedt 'has come to accept neurological illness'

8th February 2010

Novelist Siri Hustvedt has said that her new book is not an attempt to 'exorcise' the mysterious neurological condition which afflicts her.

The Shaking Woman or a History of My Nerves is part-memoir, part-scientific study into neurological disorders - something which is familiar to the writer as she suffers from paroxysmal attacks.

In an interview with the Guardian, Hustvedt explained that she did not write the book to find an answer to why she suffers from her condition, but to accept that it will always be a part of her life.

The author pointed out that many works dealing with health problems end on a triumphant note, with the sufferer showing how they defeated their affliction by the end of the book.

However, Hustvedt, who showcased the memoir and signed copies at a Foyles event on February 3rd, said that most people do not overcome their illnesses in the real world and this is something that is honestly examined in her new book.

'I don't think I've exorcised the Shaking Woman. If there's any closure - and it's a word I detest - it's the recognition that this is an aspect of my neurology and I can't expect it to go away. She's me,' the author told the newspaper.

An Independent review of The Shaking Woman said that it is an 'invigorating antidote' to the overly emotional approach normally adopted by illness memoirs.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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