Jessica Ferri at the LA Times:
When Hustvedt returns to the idea of what’s missing, her writing takes off. In “Both-And,” an essay on Bourgeois, she offers the concept of intercorporeality from French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty: “that human relations take place between and among bodies, that we perceive and understand others in embodied ways that are not conscious.” What could be more loaded than the mother’s body, a body that is not one, but two? A body that is no longer hers alone? “The artist sees the object unfold, a thing that rises out of you, is related to you, but is not you either,” Hustvedt writes about Bourgeois’ work. But this easily applies to birth and mothering.
For all these sensitivities, Hustvedt’s most personal piece, “A Walk With My Mother,” dwarfs the others in this collection. In concert with the scientific essays, it is intensely focused on the physical.