The B&N Podcast: Claire Messud

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.

Claire Messud may be best known to most readers as the author of the 2006 bestseller and Booker prize-nominated novel The Emperor’s Children, a diamond-sharp satire of wealth, privilege, power and self-deception set just before and after the events of September 11th, 2001. But her new novel The Burning Girl explores the haunted terrain of a lost childhood friendship with deep sensitivity, following two young women into a confrontation with adulthood fraught with perils both familiar and enigmatic. This week, Claire Messud joins Bill Tipper to talk about her new book, and the stories we tell ourselves in order to explain the inexplicable.


A bracing, hypnotic coming-of-age story about the bond of best friends, from the New York Times best-selling author of The Emperor’s Children. Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship. The Burning Girl is a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about youth and friendship, and straddles, expertly, childhood’s imaginary worlds and painful adult reality—crafting a true, immediate portrait of female adolescence.

Click here to see all books by Claire Messud.

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Author photo (c) Ulf Andersen

The post The B&N Podcast: Claire Messud appeared first on The Barnes & Noble Review.

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