AuthorsLive: Claire Messud and Jenny Offil to Speak on February 20

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Authors Claire Messud and Jenny Offill eloquently and repeatedly explore a woman's concept of self with piercing insight. The two authors will discuss their latest novels at Greenwich Library as part of the AuthorsLive series on Thursday, February 20 at 7 p.m. 

Claire Messud is the New York Times best-selling author of The Emperor's Children and a celebrated fiction writer and journalist. A seasoned speaker, she lectures on gender and literature as well as the origins of storytelling. Her masterly new novel, The Woman Upstairs, is a riveting tale of a woman awakened, transformed and betrayed by a desire for a world beyond her own. 

In The Woman Upstairs, school teacher Nora Eldridge long ago compromised her dream to be a successful artist, mother and lover. She has instead become the "woman upstairs," a reliable friend and neighbor always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her life arrives the glamorous and cosmopolitan Shahids, and Nora is drawn into their exciting and complex world. Told with passion, this novel explores the thrill--and the devastating cost--of embracing an authentic life. 

Says the Los Angeles Times, "Thrums with fury . . . Startling: a psychological and intellectual thriller." 

 Jenny Offill's new novel, Dept. of Speculation, available on January 28 from Knopf, offers a glimpse into the intimacies of marriage, faith, and the universal shipwreck of emotion that unites us all. 

Offill's heroine, referred to as simply "the wife," once exchanged love letters with her husband postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for life's uncertainties. As they confront an array of common catastrophes--a colicky baby, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions--the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka. She muses on the consuming nature of maternal love as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the demands of art. 

In language that shimmers with rage and wit, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that can be devoured in a single sitting. 

According to a Publishers Weekly starred review, "Offill has equal parts cleverness and erudition, but it's her language and eye for detail that make this a must-read." 

About the Authors 

Claire Messud was educated at Yale and Cambridge. After a career in journalism for the London Guardian, she returned to the US to teach at Amherst and Kenyon College. Her first book, The Emperor's Children, was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post Best Book of the Year. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her family. 

Jenny Offill is the author of the novel Last Things, which was chosen as a notable book of the year by The New York Times and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Book Award. She teaches in the writing programs at Queens University, Brooklyn College, and Columbia University. 

AuthorsLive@GreenwichLibrary is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions by generous donors. Books will be available for purchase and signing through Diane's Books. This series is open to all at no charge, but seating in the Cole Auditorium is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Diane's Books at (203) 869-1515.

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This page contains a single entry by Kate published on February 6, 2014 12:38 PM.

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