The Emperor's Children

Picador Classic

2.93 based on 15353 ratings & 2322 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 13.08.2015
ISBN: 9781447289425
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

With an introduction by Neel Mukherjee.

In Manhattan, just after the century's turn, three thirty-year-old friends, Danielle, Marina and Julius, are seeking their fortunes. But the arrival of Marina's young cousin Bootie - fresh from the provinces and keen, too, to make his mark - forces them to confront their own desires and expectations.

The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud is an American classic: a sweeping portrait of one of the most fascinating cities in the world, and a haunting illustration of how the events of a single day can change everything, for ever.

In the media

A splendid American novel, contemporary yet historical, with an avalanche of characters flowing across the world from Australia to Manhattan to small-town America and to Florida . . . This is an ambitious, confident, most readable book by a first rate storyteller with the youth and vitality to spread a huge canvas and enjoy filling it.
Spectator
[The Emperor's Children] demonstrates Ms. Messud's growing range as a writer, her ability to shift gears effortlessly between the comic and the tragic, the satiric and the humane . . . Ms. Messud delineates this Manhattan world with quick, sure, painterly strokes, relying less on Tom Wolfeian status details and obviously satiric vignettes than on her psychological radar for how people talk and behave . . . Ms. Messud does a nimble, quicksilver job of portraying her central characters from within and without - showing us their pretensions, frailties and self-delusions, even as she delineates their secret yearnings and fears. At the same time, she uses their stories to explore many of the same questions she explicated so masterfully in The Last Life - questions about how an individual hammers out an identity of his or her own under the umbrella of a powerful family, questions about the ways in which people mythologize their own lives and the lives of those they love.
New York Times
From the moment the book opens, one senses a writer of confidence and maturity, expansive, sure of her ground and savouring her own sonorous prose . . . Messud has proved in her previous novels that she is an intelligent and ambitious writer whose fiction is concerned with matters well beyond the personal and domestic . . . There is much to enjoy here, not least Messud's delicate yet devastating use of irony, her nuanced portrayal of character and motive and her vivid descriptions.
Sunday Telegraph