THE BLAZING WORLD
by Siri Hustvedt
Simon & Schuster; March 11, 2014
Hardcover; 368 pages
Source: Received from publisher for review
After years of struggling in the New York art world, seeing her work dismissed or ignored, Harriet “Harry” Burden is full of rage. She is tired of being sidelined, viewed not as an artist in her own right, but merely as the wife of her famous art-dealing husband. In middle age, she decides to create her most ambitious work yet — a work that will reveal both her own genius and the prejudices of the art world.
For her grand experiment, “Maskings,” Harriet exhibits work under three male pseudonyms: Anton Tish, a young fledgling artist; Phineas Q. Eldridge, a gay, black performance artist; and Rune, a critical darling of the artist intellectual set. Each of these shows are successful, reinforcing Harry’s conviction that her work has been ignored because of her gender. After years on the perimeter, she looks forward to her grand unveiling — the day that she will claim the work as hers and finally receive recognition for her talent. Continue reading