BERKELEY ARTS & LETTERS: Siri Hustvedt with Michael Palmer / Memories of the Future

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 7:30pm

Berkeley Arts & Letters presents international bestselling author of The Blazing World Siri Hustvedt for Memories of the Future, a provocative, exuberant novel about time, memory, desire, and the imagination that tells the story of a young Midwestern woman's first year in New York City in the late 1970s and her obsession with her mysterious neighbor, Lucy Brite.


Siri will be in conversation with Michael Palmer, author of more than 20 books of poetry and recipient of the Wallace Stevens Prize.


Please note: This event is ticketed, and will take place at Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St., Berkeley. Tickets, including discounted book bundles, are available in advance here. Unless otherwise noted here, general admission tickets will be available at the door.


As she listens to Lucy through the thin walls of her dilapidated building, S.H., aka Minnesota, transcribes her neighbors bizarre and increasingly ominous monologues in a notebook, along with sundry other adventures, until one frightening night when Lucy bursts into her apartment on a rescue mission.


Forty years later, S.H., now a veteran author, discovers her old notebook, as well as early drafts of a never-completed novel while moving her aging mother from one facility to another. Ingeniously juxtaposing the various texts, S.H. measures what she remembers against what she wrote that year and has since forgotten to create a dialogue between selves across decades. The encounter both collapses time and reframes its meanings in the present.


Elaborately structured, intellectually rigorous, urgently paced, poignant, and often wildly funny, "Memories of the Future" brings together themes that have made Hustvedt among the most celebrated novelists working today: the fallibility of memory; gender mutability; the violence of patriarchy; the vagaries of perception; the ambiguous borders between sensation and thought, sanity and madness; and our dependence on primal drives such as sex, love, hunger, and rage.



"Among the many riches of Siri Hustvedt's portrait of a young woman finding her way as an artist are her reflections on how acts of remembering, if they reach deep enough, can heal the broken present, as well as on the inherent uncanniness of feeling oneself brought into being by the writing hand." – J.M.Coetzee


"Like all the best postmodern novels, this metafictional investigation of time, memory, and the mutating self is as playful as it is serious." - Kirkus Reviews



Siri Hustvedt is the internationally acclaimed author of a book of poems, six novels, four collections of essays, and a work of nonfiction. In 2012 she was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities. Her novel "The Blazing World" was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Lost Angeles Book Prize for Fiction. She has also published numerous papers in scholarly and scientific journals. She has a PhD in English literature from Columbia University and is a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.



Michael Palmer has lived in San Francisco since 1969. He has collaborated with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company for over forty years, as well as with many composers and visual artists. His most recent poetry collection is The Laughter of the Sphinx (New Directions, 2016). He has taught at various universities around the world. Among his awards are the Arts and Letters Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and the Wallace Stevens Prize from the Academy of American Poets, where he served as a Chancellor from1999 to 2004. His work has been translated into over thirty languages, and he himself has translated both poetry and prose, principally from French, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian.


Please note

- Duration of event is subject to author's preference.

- Signing and additional details coming soon.

- This event is all ages. RSVP is appreciated but not necessary. 

- Accessibility is important to us! If you have special needs of any kind, please write events AT booksmith DOT com and we will do our best to accommodate you.

- If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Memories of the Future, order below and put your request in the special field. If you'd like a signed copy of any of Siri's other books, order here and put your request in the special field; for Michael's books, order here and put your request in the special field.


Memories of the Future By Siri Hustvedt Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982102838
Availability: Hard to Find (or) Out of Stock Indefinitely
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 19th, 2019