• Where—Greenwich, CT, USA
• Education—BA, Yale University; M.A. Cambridge University
• Awards—Addison Metcalf Award and Strauss Living Award,
both from the American Academy of Arts & Letters
• Currently—lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Claire Messud 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. She lives with her husband and family in Cambridge, Massachuesetts.
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 French from French Algeria (Algeria was a French colony until 1962). She was educated at Milton Academy, Yale University, and Cambridge University, where she met her spouse, the British literary critic James Wood. 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. Her 2006 novel, The Emperor’s Children, was longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. Messud wrote the novel while a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2004–2005. Her most recent novel, The Woman Upstairs (2013) revolves around a soon-to-be-40 woman who comes under the spell of the charming Paris-based Shahid family.
Messud has taught creative writing at Kenyon College, University of Maryland, Amherst College, in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers in North Carolina, and in the Graduate Writing program at The Johns Hopkins University. Messud also taught at the Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Each spring semester, beginning 2009, Messud teaches a literary traditions course as a part of CUNY Hunter College's MFA Program in Creative Writing.
She is on the editorial board of the literary magazine The Common, based at Amherst College. She has contributed articles to publications such as The New York Review of Books.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has recognized Messud's talent with both an Addison Metcalf Award and a Strauss Living Award. She was considered for the 2003 Granta Best of Young British Novelists list, although none of the three passports she holds is British. As of 2010–2011, she is a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin / Institute of Advanced Study. (From Wikipedia.)
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