Claire Messud (born 1966) is an American novelist and literature and creative writing professor. She is best known as the author of the 2006 novel The Emperor's Children.
Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, Messud grew up in the United States, Australia, and Canada, returning to the United States as a teenager. Messud's mother is Canadian, and her father is ethnic French from French Algeria (Algeria was a French colony until 1962). She was educated at the University of Toronto Schools, and Milton Academy. She did undergraduate and graduate studies at Yale University and Cambridge University, where she met her spouse James Wood, who is now a literary critic in the UK. Messud also briefly attended the MFA program at Syracuse University.
Messud's debut novel, When The World Was Steady (1995), was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. In 1999, she published her second book, The Last Life, about three generations of a French-Algerian family. Her 2001 work, The Hunters, consists of two novellas. The Emperor’s Children, which Messud wrote while a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2004–2005, was critically praised and became a New York Times bestseller, as well as being longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. In April 2013, Messud published her sixth novel, The Woman Upstairs...
Quotes by Claire Messud
It's the strangest thing about being human: to know so much, to communicate so much, and yet always to fall so drastically short of clarity, to be, in the end, so isolate and inadequate. Even when people try to say things, they say them poorly or obliquely, or they outright lie, sometimes because they're lying to you, but as often because they're lying to themselves.
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