Tuesday, September 5

Harvard Book Store Presents (Past Events)Special Events Archive

Claire Messud

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Claire Messud discusses The Burning Girl: A Novel

in conversation with CHRISTOPHER LYDON

Online pre-sales (ticket + book) now available. $5 tickets on sale Aug 3 at 9am. Unable to attend? Order the book(s) or pre-order a signed copy from Harvard Book Store. No Brattle Passes.

This event includes a book signing.

Harvard Book Store and WBUR welcome local bestselling novelist CLAIRE MESSUD—author of The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs—and Radio Open Source‘s CHRISTOPHER LYDON for a discussion of Messud’s latest novel, The Burning Girl, a coming-of-age story about the bond of best friends, set in small-town Massachusetts.

About The Burning Girl

hbs-messud-bookJulia 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.

Claire Messud, one of our finest novelists, is as accomplished at weaving a compelling fictional world as she is at asking the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships? Brilliantly mixing fable and coming-of-age tale, The Burning Girl gets to the heart of these matters in an absolutely irresistible way.


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Christopher Lydon is the host of Radio Open Source. He covered politics for The New York Times from the Washington bureau in the 1970s. He hosted The Ten O’Clock News on WGBH TV through the 1980s, and he co-founded and hosted The Connection on WBUR in the ’90s. He recorded the original podcast in 2003 with Dave Winer.


Claire Messud.Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The author of five previous works of fiction including her most recent novel, The Woman Upstairs, Messud lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.

Photo credit: Ulf Andersen