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Claire Messud biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Claire Messud
Photo by Lucian Wood

Claire Messud

Claire Messud Biography

Claire Messud is the author of six works of fiction. A recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she teaches at Harvard University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.



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Interview

Claire Messud discusses what inspired her to write The Emperor's Children and why she chooses to write about people who are "interesting" rather than nice.

Q: In The Emperor's Children, the introduction of a few outsiders into the world of the main characters drastically alters the lives of everyone. What were their lives like before the appearance of Bootie and Ludovic Seeley on the scene?

Well, Marina had been living at home for the better part of a year, trying to get her book finished; and Julius and Danielle were living pretty much as they had done for some time, each in their apartment. But the three of them spent a lot of time together – more time than they do once the book is underway -- in the way very close, old friends do when they are single and childless.

Q: The first chapter is called "Our Chef is Very Famous in London", which gets to the heart of things that a reputation one place may not carry to another. What made you decide to start the book with that?

Danielle – like Marina and Julius also, albeit in slightly different ways – is very much a New Yorker. Her whole sense of the world, post-college, has been focused entirely on New York. I wanted to begin the novel in a rare moment, for her, in which she has some perspective on her own life, some sense of its provincialism. All our lives are provincial, no ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Claire Messud at BookBrowse
This Strange Eventful History jacket Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write jacket The Burning Girl jacket The Woman Upstairs jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Claire Messud but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Chloe Aridjis

    Chloe Aridjis

    Chloe Aridjis is a Mexican–American writer who was born in New York and grew up in the Netherlands and Mexico. After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Oxford in nineteenth–century French poetry and magic ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Woman Upstairs

    Try:
    Asunder
    by Chloe Aridjis

  • Sarah Blake

    Sarah Blake

    Sarah Blake is an American writer. Her debut novel Grange House, set in Victorian era Maine, was published in 2001. Her second, The Postmistress, a story set in Second World War Massachusetts and London, was published in 2010... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Emperor's Children

    Try:
    The Guest Book
    by Sarah Blake

We recommend 28 similar authors


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