The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud

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Synopsis

The Emperor’s Children is a richly drawn, brilliantly observed novel of fate and fortune—about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their way--and not-- in New York City. In this tour de force, the celebrated author Claire Messud brings to life a city, a generation, and the way we live in this moment.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs. 

 

About Claire Messud

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Claire Messud's most recent novel, The Emperor's Children, was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady, and her book of novellas, The Hunters, were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and her second novel, The Last Life, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Editor's Choice at The Village Voice. All four books were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Messud has been awarded Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.
 
Published August 29, 2006 by Vintage. 448 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Emperor's Children

Kirkus Reviews

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It’s a bit disconcerting to find 9/11 so smoothly integrated into the author’s thematic concerns and plot development—it believably motivates the breakup of Murray’s affair with Danielle—but five years on, perhaps it’s time for this catastrophe to enter the realm of worthy fictional material.

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The New York Times

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Messud fails, early in the novel, to provide the sort of insight into this young man’s troubled soul that might make his later decisions — one involving a chilling betrayal of Murray, the second involving an even more chilling act of cruelty toward his mother — understandable or plausible.

Aug 22 2006 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's Children

The New York Times

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And so Bootie — poor, clueless Bootie — becomes both the novel’s antihero and its hero, setting out to expose Murray by writing a tell-all article for Seeley’s new magazine.

Aug 27 2006 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's Children

The Guardian

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The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud Picador £14.99 , pp431 In a world of surface, deeply felt sympathy is hard to come by and hard to put much faith in.

Sep 03 2006 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's Children

The Guardian

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The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud 431pp, Picador, £14.99 Claire Messud's novel has a lot to live up to - not merely due to its inclusion on the Booker longlist, let alone its imposing size, but because a glance at the first line of the cover ("In Manhattan, just after the century's turn, th...

Sep 09 2006 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's Children

Publishers Weekly

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Two arrivals upset the group stasis: Ludovic, a fiercely ambitious Aussie who woos Marina to gain entrée into society (meanwhile planning to destroy Murray's reputation), and Murray's nephew, Frederick "Bootie" Tubb, an immature, idealistic college dropout and autodidact who is determined to live...

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Examiner

Messud describes his first visit to Central Park, “He marveled silently at the shapes in which New Yorkers came, skinny driven men and women, in work clothes or clinging sportsgear, their veins popping along their rigid necks or at their tiny, taut calves…” (147) ² We travel to the subway as Fre...

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's Children

Book Reporter

Then Marina falls in love with a cynical Australian editor who relocates to New York to launch a new satirical magazine, and whose criticisms of Murray Thwaite's career and ideas seem somehow to diminish her father's relevance.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's Children

AV Club

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Claire Messud's masterful 1999 novel The Last Life, a faux-memoir by the privileged 14-year-old daughter of a French-Algerian father and an American mother, dealt with the false insularity of the sweet life, and the problems of wresting an identity from a family with its own powerful legacy.

Oct 19 2006 | Read Full Review of The Emperor's Children

Pajiba

Ludovic Seeley, an ambitious, snake-like editor from Australia arrives in New York with his mind set on Revolution (in metaphorical New York terms of course) as he pursues the hand of Marina.

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The Millions

At 7,900 words strong and encompassing 79 titles, this is the only 2013 book preview you will ever need.

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London Review of Books

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Project MUSE

Such a connection is clearer in Smiley's model, Boccaccio's Decameron, in which ten people remove to a villa in Italy, escaping the Black Plague, and tell stories of love, one each for ten days;

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Reader Rating for The Emperor's Children
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