Claire Messud was named on the 2003 Granta Best of Young British Novelists list, although she was born in Conneticut, spent her childhood in the US, Australia, and Canada, and returned to live in the US as a teenager.

Like Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt, Messud and her husband James Wood form one of East Coast America’s literary power couples. She describes writing as: ‘my own neurosis - didn’t Wittgenstein say as long as you’re writing, it’s neurosis? If we were cured, we would all stop.’ When she is not engaged with her neurosis she teaches creative writing in some of the most prestigious universities in the US. Messud’s books have managed to be both critical and commercial successes despite the fact, as she says, ‘In writing as in life, it’s harder than you think.’

Claire Messud

All nominated books

The Emperor's Children