Claire Messud’s two exquisite short novels, acclaimed for their subtlety, their insight and their dazzling prose, are destined to become masterpieces of twenty-first-century literature.
‘Claire Messud’s two brilliant novellas are exquisitely positioned: poised, subtle and perfect, they communicate with each other across expanses of silence like works of art. It is almost startling to encounter writing of this quality . . . This is masterly prose – modest, authentic, compassionate, interested and majestically complete . . . These two small masterpieces reflect and complement one another so as to form something larger, a work of tremendous scope and significance. I can think of few writers capable of such thrilling seriousness expressed with so lavish a gift’
‘Messud proves to be as much an accomplished storyteller as an immaculate stylist . . . She is a mistress of parenthesis, the telling aside, the unspoken . . . With the short novel, Claire Messud, like Alice Munro, has found her ideal form’
Two short novels of remarkable power and artistry that outweigh works twice or thrice their size . . . They achieve their aim quite beautifully’
‘Messud is an expert storyteller. Her style is precise and illuminating, transforming the mundane into the unusual . . . dazzling’