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Claire Messud Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

When The World Was Steady (1994) Description  Book  eBook
Last Life (1998) Description  Book  eBook
The Emperor's Children (2006) Description  Book  eBook
The Woman Upstairs (2012) Description  Book  eBook

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Professor's History (2006) Description  Book  eBook


Claire Messud is one of the highly respected authors from America, who has written several popular novels based on the literature and fiction genres. She is also a well known creative and literature writing professor. Author Claire is particularly famous for the success of her standalone novel titled ‘The Emperor’s Children’. Claire was born in the year 1966 in Greenwich, Connecticut, United States. She spent her growing up years in a number of places including Australia, United States, Canada, etc., before finally coming back to the United States during her teenage years. The mother of Claire is of the Canadian origin, while her father belongs to the ethnic French race, hailing from French Algeria. She received her primary education at the Toronto University Schools and at the Militon Academy. Later, author Claire went on to obtain her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Cambridge University and the Yale University. It was while studying at the Cambridge University that she met her husband named James Wood. After her graduation, author Claire briefly attended the Syracuse University for an MFA program. Claire began her writing career in the year 1995 with the release her debut book titled ‘When The World Was Steady’. This novel went on to be nominated for the Faulkner/PEN Award. After the success of this novel, author Claire was able to complete and publish her second novel in the year 1999. It was titled as The Last Life and depicted the story of 3 generations of family of the French-Algerian community. In 2001, she published two novellas.

The most noteworthy book of the writing career of author Claire came in the year 2004-2005. It is known as The Emperor’s Children. She wrote this book while she was undergoing a short course at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies. The was critically acclaimed and was also included in the bestselling list of The New York Times. It even went on to be longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in the year 2006. The 6th novel of Claire’s writing career was published in the year 2013 as The Woman Upstairs. Other than her interests in writing novels, author Claire is also associated with teaching creative writing. She has taught this form of art at various well known colleges and universities, including the Amherst College, the University of Maryland, the Kenyon College, etc. She had also taught in the MFA Program for writers at the Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. The other teaching assignments of author Claire include teaching Graduate Writing program at the Harvard University and at the University of John Hopkins. On one occasion, Claire was also involved in teaching at the Sewanee South University, located in Sewanee, Tennessee. Author Claire is listed on the board of editors of the popular literary magazine called The Common, which is based at the Armhest College. Claire has contributed a few articles to the several publications life The New York Book Reviews. Starting from the year 2009, author Claire began teaching courses in literary traditions in every spring semester in the MFA Program of the CUNY Hunter College. For her contributions in arts and literature, author Claire has been awarded by the American Academy of Letters and Arts with the Strauss Living and Addison Metcalf awards. In spite of not being a British national, she was considered for the Ganta’s list of Best Young British Novelists in the year 2003. As of today, she lives happily along with her husband and two kids named Lucian and Livia. Claire spends most of her time writing novels. Whenever she gets any chance, she likes to enroll herself for writing courses at popular institutes.

One of the popular books written by author Claire Messud is titled as ‘The Woma Upstairs’. This book was released in the year 2013 by the Knopf publication. The central characters described by author Claire in the book include Reza Shahid, Sirena Shahid, Nora Eldridge, and Skandar Shahid. The story is set in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Nora Eldridge is introduced in the plot of the book as a 37 year old teacher at an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is depicted as being on the verge of getting disappeared. Nora seems to have left her desire to become an artist. In fact, she has remained more of a tidy neighbor and a reliable friend, who is always on the fringe of the achievements of others. People close to her often refer her as the ‘woman upstairs’. Then, a new pupil named Reza Shahid arrives in her classroom, who seems to have come from a fairy world. His parents are Skandar and Sirena Shahid, who have arrived in America on account of the teaching job of Skandar at Harvard. Skandar is depicted as a Ethical History Professor hailing from Beirut, while Sirena is shown as a glamorous artist from Italy. When Reza is bullied by other students for being a Muslim, Nora rescues him and eventually gets drawn closer to the Shahid family. Soon after, she falls in love with the family, together as well as separately. As the happiness of Nora begins to explode her boundaries, she experiences a shattering betrayal due to the personal ambition of Sirena. The novel appears to be a story of artistic fulfillment and obsession. Author Claire has written it with piercing emotion and intimacy, which appears very much thrilling as the novel comes to its end.s

Another successful book written by Claire Messud is titled as “When the World Was Steady”. This book was by the Granta publication in the year 1995. The setting of the plot of the book is done in London, England, the United Kingdom. The initial sequence of the novel shows that the steady worlds of two middle aged sisters, who alienated from each other, are disintegrating. As a result, each of them decides to set out on their quests. One begins her journey from Sydney and travels to the sacred mountains in Bali. The second one starts from north London and reaches the Isle of Skye. Eventually, the sisters go through their self-scrutiny as well as they encounter the strangeness over the course of their journey and finally meet with each other. Author Claire has described the story of these two sisters in the form of an unusual power and grace. The unique storyline and character description by author Claire helped the novel to be nominated for the PEN Award.

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