In this highly acclaimed novel by the author of The Emperor’s Children, life isn’t all Emmy and Virginia Simpson might have hoped. When Emmy’s marriage to an Australian man ends, she flees her home in Sydney for the tropical paradise of Bali to “find herself”—only to become embroiled with an eclectic crew of international misfits and smugglers. Her sister Virginia, meanwhile, has never wandered far outside of London. Prim and pious, Virginia is struggling to find meaning in her life and her aging mother thinks a visit to the Isle of Skye is just what she needs. On these two islands halfway around the world, the middle-aged sisters confront their lives and their destinies with unexpected consequences.
About the Author
Claire Messud was educated at Cambridge and Yale. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady, and her most recent book, The Hunters, were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; her second novel, The Last Life, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Editor's Choice at The Village Voice. All three of her books were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Radcliffe Fellowship, and is the current recipient of the Straus Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.
Praise for When the World Was Steady…
“[Messud is] a novelist of unnerving talent.” —The New York Times Book Review“A fine first novel, and the ‘first’ is deceptive, for its author has the daring and assurance to take on Iris Murdoch-like questions about goodness and truth.” —The New Yorker“In its rich detail and its humor, this is a wry, uplifting book.” —The Independent on Sunday (London)“Beautiful. . . . [Messud] proceeds, sentence by sentence, image by image, character by character, to create a fully realized, multi-layered world. . . . [She] has the imagination, the craft and the understanding of human nature to write about anything she chooses.” —The Chicago Tribune