Claire Messuds first novel, When the World Was Steady, and her book of novellas, The Hunters, were finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; her second novel, The Last Life, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an Editors Choice at The Village Voice. All three books were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Radcliffe Fellowship, and is the current recipient of the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.
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Claire Messud discusses The Emperor's Children
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
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 ...
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