Conversations with Authors - Claire Messud (Virtual Event)

Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 4:00pm


Saturday, October 24th • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

Claire Messud

in conversation with Sheila Heti

Conversations with Authors is our free virtual event series! Join us throughout the week at 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET for a new chat with a different author.


Claire Messud‘s latest release, Kant’s Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write, opens a window on her own life: a peripatetic upbringing; a warm, complicated family; and, throughout it all, her devotion to art and literature.

Claire is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the author of six works of fiction including The Burning Girl, The Emperor’s Children, and The Woman Upstairs. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.

Sheila Heti is the author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, including the novels Motherhood; chosen by the book critics at the New York Times as one of their top books of 2018, and by New York magazine as the best book of the year; How Should a Person Be?, named one of the 12 “New Classics of the 21st Century” by Vulture, as well as a New York Times Notable Book, a best book of the year in The New Yorker, and cited by Time as “one of the most talked-about books of the year"; and Ticknor; as well as the story collection, The Middle Stories. She was named one of “The New Vanguard” by the New York Times; a list of fifteen women writers from around the world who are “shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.” Her books have been translated into twenty-two languages.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write: An Autobiography in Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324006756
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 13th, 2020

A glimpse into a beloved novelist’s inner world, shaped by family, art, and literature.

The Burning Girl: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393356052
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 5th, 2018

A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

"[A] masterwork of psychological fiction.… Messud teases readers with a psychological mystery, withholding information and then cannily parceling it out." —Chicago Tribune

The Emperor's Children Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307276667
Availability: Special Order
Published: Vintage - June 26th, 2007

A bestselling, masterful novel 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.

The Woman Upstairs (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307743763
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - February 4th, 2014

Told with urgency, intimacy, and piercing emotion, this New York Times bestselling novel is the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed, and abandoned by a desire for a world beyond her own.

When the World Was Steady: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393355093
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 29th, 2017

A PEN/Faulkner Award finalist about two sisters’ divergent paths, from the author of The Burning Girl and The Emperor’s Children.

Motherhood: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250214782
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - May 7th, 2019

From the author of How Should a Person Be? (“one of the most talked-about books of the year”—Time Magazine) and the New York Times Bestseller Women in Clothes comes a daring novel about whether to have children.

How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250032447
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - June 25th, 2013

Chosen as one of fifteen remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write in the 21st century by the book critics of The New York Times

"Funny...odd, original, and nearly unclassifiable...unlike any novel I can think of."—David Haglund, The New York Times Book Review

Ticknor: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312426637
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - March 20th, 2007

On a cold, rainy night, an aging bachelor named George Ticknor prepares to visit his childhood friend Prescott, a successful man who is now one of the leading intellectual lights of their generation. With a hastily baked pie in his hands, and a lifetime of guilt and insecurity weighing upon his soul, he sets out for the Prescotts' dinner party--a party at which he'd just as soon never arrive.

The Middle Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781936365906
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: McSweeney's - March 27th, 2012

Wildly acclaimed in Canada, this book marks the debut of a remarkable young writer first published by McSweeney's when she was twenty-three and living at home with her dad and brother. The Middle Stories is a strikingly original collection of stories, fables, and short brutalities that are alternately heartwarming, cruel, and hilarious.