Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 6 of 6 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types


Life and Death Stuff

Amanda Claybaugh: Claire Messud, 19 October 2006

The Emperor’s Children 
by Claire Messud.
Picador, 431 pp., £14.99, September 2006, 0 330 44447 6
Show More
Show More
... It seems that they might be ready at last to come of age. An accomplished novelist of manners, Claire Messud writes in the tradition of Jane Austen, Henry James and Edith Wharton. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady, even nods to Austen through one of its plots, which involves a vicar and a spinster; its other plot, however, recounts the ...

Yum-Yum Pickles

Alex Clark: Claire Messud, 6 June 2002

The Hunters: Two Short Novels 
by Claire Messud.
Picador, 181 pp., £12.99, February 2002, 0 330 48814 7
Show More
Show More
... or diminution is reflected in the deceptive miniaturism of the twin stories in The Hunters. Messud labours on her two inches of ivory – and the book can, at times, feel like a labour – to create a work that tests the possibilities of how much can be encoded in how little. According to her British publishers, The Hunters was not considered for this ...

How awful

Emily Witt: Claire Messud’s Spinster, 23 May 2013

The Woman Upstairs 
by Claire Messud.
Virago, 304 pp., £14.99, May 2013, 978 1 84408 731 0
Show More
Show More
... someone to avoid, like Bridget Jones’s single woman found half-eaten by her Alsatian. Since Claire Messud can no longer use spinster in its neutral sense of an unmarried woman, she adopts a euphemism in this novel about a very disappointed schoolmarm without a husband or child who becomes obsessed with somebody else’s family. The refrain Nora ...

Bonjour Sagesse

Frank Kermode: Claire Messud, 30 September 1999

The Last Life 
by Claire Messud.
Picador, 376 pp., £12.99, August 1999, 0 330 37563 6
Show More
Show More
... Claire Messud’s first novel, When the World Was Steady, published five years ago, won praise from critics who know what they’re talking about – for example, Penelope Fitzgerald, writing in the LRB. It was a book that showed an easy technical control, an ability to do the things novelists have to do, and in so young a writer these skills were reasonably thought to presage later and more ambitious performances ...

Hug me, kiss me

Penelope Fitzgerald, 6 October 1994

Such Devoted Sisters: An Anthology of Stories 
edited by Shena Mackay.
Virago, 330 pp., £6.99, August 1994, 1 85381 755 4
Show More
When the World Was Steady 
by Claire Messud.
Granta, 270 pp., £14.99, July 1994, 0 14 014099 9
Show More
Show More
... younger sister, who can’t bear the weight of what she hears. And yet her sacrifice helps nobody. Claire Messud’s sympathetic first novel, When the World Was Steady, looks at some of the same cross-tensions. Mrs Simpson, inappropriately named Melody, is growing old, and possesses what D.H. Lawrence, an expert in such matters, called a ‘toad-like ...

Shave for them

Christian Lorentzen: ‘The Submission’, 22 September 2011

The Submission 
by Amy Waldman.
Heinemann, 299 pp., £12.99, September 2011, 978 0 434 01932 8
Show More
Show More
... of the memorial controversy. The encounter with Alyssa Spier was just a few days past, and for all Claire’s resistance, Spier’s insinuations had slithered inside to coil around Claire’s own doubts. This repulsive, reptilian distrust – it never left her now.’ The snakes of distrust, among other metaphors, have ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences