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The Emperor's Children

2.93 based on 15567 ratings & 2340 reviews on Goodreads.com

2006 Long-listed

Man Booker Prize

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

As large-hearted as it is ambitious, this is a novel that combines the old-fashioned art of storytelling with a clear-eyed view of the modern world.
Sunday Times
Claire Messud is a novelist of unnerving talent . . . The Emperor's Children is a masterly comedy of manners - an astute and poignant evocation of hobnobbing glitterati in the months before and immediately following September 11 . . . [It] is, on its surface, a stingingly observant novel about the facades of the chattering class - with its loves, ambitions and petty betrayals - but it is also, more profoundly, about a wholesale collision of values . . . The Emperor's Children is full of satirical chiding, but it's one of the most delightful - even delicious - forms of such chiding I've encountered . . . Among its many pleasures, this novel indisputably reminds us of one truth that cannot be declared fungible: the obdurate reality of the human imagination. The Emperor's Children is a penetrating testament to its power.
New York Times Book Review
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