American poet, essayist and novelist of Norwegian ancestry, born in Northfield, Minnesota in 1955. Her father Lloyd Hustvedt was a professor of Scandinavian literature, and her mother Ester Vegan emigrated from Norway at the age of thirty.
Hustvedt spent a year at a high school in Bergen, Norway and studied at the traditionally Norwegian-American St. Olaf College in her hometown (class of '79). She reads Norwegian and occasionally translates from it, but writes in English. She made her debut with Reading to you, a collection of poetry, in 1983. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Paul Auster and two children, in a house that is "a reflection of Siri and her Scandinavian craving for order" (according to Auster in a NYTimes interview). The two met at a poetry reading in 1981.
Her husband's work might be more famous than hers, but Hustvedt's literature has earned its own attention. Myself, I enjoy her novels in particular. The cover of my paperback copy of The Blindfold features a comment by Don DeLillo, calling it "a work of dizzying intensity" - and although these comments from other authors often seem overly ecstatic and utterly unreliable, this is a description well deserved. Actually, I would claim that this is true of at least parts of her second novel as well.
Hustvedt also works as a translator, she is at the board of directors of the poetry project at St. Mark's Church in New York, and she co-wrote the script for Wayne Wang's 2001 movie The Center of the World with Wang, Auster and Miranda July. A French movie for television, La chambre des magiciennes, is based on The Blindfold.
Reading to You - poems, 1983
The Blindfold - novel, 1992
The Enchantment of Lily Dahl - novel, 1996
Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York's African Burial
Ground - with Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan, 1998
Yonder - essays, 1998