- Hustvedt's essays are very
writerly, usually exploring issues of identity or literary concepts. Her thought-provoking writings are at once intellectual and sentimental
- the piece "Gatsby's G;asses" is a charming review on the Great Gatsby
- "Of course women are sexual objects; so are men," she writes, sensibly, and issues a "plea that we not forget ambiguity and mystery, that in matters of the heart we acknowledge an abiding uncertainty."
-But she cloaks her vulnerability in mock humility. She makes coy assertions ("when I finally produced a poem I liked, I sent it to The Paris Review; and to my astonishment, the poem was accepted and published") and waxes auto-hagiographic ("I held fiercely to the lonely idea of my great destiny"). Even her lousy junior high experience is a sign that her woundedness has rendered her special.