Claire Messud to read from her new novel "The Burning Girl" October 17 at UAlbany

The New York State Writers Institute's Visiting Writers Series brings Messud to Albany

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Claire Messud (photo credit - Ulf Andersen)

ALBANY, NY (10/09/2017) (readMedia)-- Bestselling fiction writer Claire Messud will read from her new novel, The Burning Girl (2017), at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17, in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the UAlbany Uptown Campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. Messud will hold an informal seminar, also in the Assembly Hall.

Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany.

Messud has been praised in the New York Times Magazine for "creating unusual female characters with ferocious, imaginative inner lives...stories with an unusual intensity...quietly making a case for women's interiority as a subject worthy of the most serious examination."

Messud's latest novel, The Burning Girl (2017), tells the story of two girlhood best friends as they navigate adolescence, divergent lives, and painful adult realities. In a review broadcast on NPR's Fresh Air, Maureen Corrigan praised the book: "Like most of Messud's other novels, The Burning Girl deeply excavates the subject of female loneliness. Growing up female... may indeed have something to do with learning to be afraid, but in writing on the difficult topics of abandonment, betrayal and isolation, Messud herself is fearless."

In her review of The Burning Girl for The Guardian, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote, "Painful as it may be, this is a hard book to stop reading. Messud is a storyteller [with] the ability to compel and hold the reader's interest."

Messud's third novel, The Emperor's Children (2006), was longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize and selected for NPR's 'Best Fiction of 2006' list, and Washington Post's "Best Book of the Year." In his Washington Post review of The Emperor's Children, Ron Charles, a senior editor of Book World, writes, "The most remarkable quality of Messud's writing may be its uncanny blend of maturity and mirth."

Messud's previous novels include When the World was Steady (1995), a Pen/Faulkner Award finalist; The Last Life (1999); and The Woman Upstairs (2013), an international bestseller which garnered praise from The Wall Street Journal: "A trenchant exploration into the mercenary nature of artistic creation...Destined to become a cultural benchmark."

Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

For additional information contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at