Happy Birthday, Claire Messud, born 8 October 1966
- I wanted to write a voice that for me, as a reader, had been missing from the chorus: the voice of an angry woman.
- Everything I write is different, so I can’t really generalize about where I begin. But character is very important to me – it’s why I write, I think; that and language. And if you really know a character, then you figure out how they would behave in a given situation. And the plot comes out of that, really.
- If I had to summarize, most broadly, my concerns as a writer, I’d say the question ‘How then must we live?’ is at the heart of it, for me.
- The more accurately one can illuminate a particular human experience, the better the work of art.
- Yes, writing is essential to me. It’s my way of living in the world.
- I believe that, in an ideal world, writers would feel free to write what matters to them without having to consider success, failure, the market, etc.
- The effort to create a work of art that is true and potentially lasting, that is the very best work of art you can create at that point in your life - a book that may only reach or move a few people but will seem to those people somehow transformative. That’s the ideal; that’s always the motivation.
Messud is an American novelist and literature and creative writing professor. She is best known for The Emperor’s Children.
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