Virtual: Claire Messud and Alexander Chee, Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write

Join us for a virtual talk with Claire Messud about her latest book Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write, joined by Alexander Chee (How to Write an Autobiographical Novel)! This event is free and open to all, and takes place on Crowdcast.

Register to join the event on Crowdcast: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/messud

A glimpse into a beloved novelist’s inner world, shaped by family, art, and literature.

In her fiction, Claire Messud "has specialized in creating unusual female characters with ferocious, imaginative inner lives" (Ruth Franklin, New York Times Magazine). Kant’s Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write opens a window on Messud’s own life: a peripatetic upbringing; a warm, complicated family; and, throughout it all, her devotion to art and literature.

In twenty-six intimate, brilliant, and funny essays, Messud reflects on a childhood move from her Connecticut home to Australia; the complex relationship between her modern Canadian mother and a fiercely single French Catholic aunt; and a trip to Beirut, where her pied-noir father had once lived, while he was dying. She meditates on contemporary classics from Kazuo Ishiguro, Teju Cole, Rachel Cusk, and Valeria Luiselli; examines three facets of Albert Camus and The Stranger; and tours her favorite paintings at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. In the luminous title essay, she explores her drive to write, born of the magic of sharing language and the transformative powers of “a single successful sentence.”

Together, these essays show the inner workings of a dazzling literary mind. Crafting a vivid portrait of a life in celebration of the power of literature, Messud proves once again "an absolute master storyteller" (Rebecca Carroll, Los Angeles Times).

Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the author of six works of fiction including the New York Times bestsellers The Emperor’s Children and The Burning Girl, which was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.

Alexander Chee is the best-selling author of the novels The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh, and the essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. He is a contributing editor at the New Republic, and an editor at large at Virginia Quarterly Review. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays 2016, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, T Magazine, Slate, Vulture, among others. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He is an associate professor of English at Dartmouth College.

Register to join the event on Crowdcast: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/messud

Event date: 

Friday, October 23, 2020 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Your computer screen! via Crowdcast
Kant's Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write: An Autobiography in Essays Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781324006756
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 13th, 2020

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781328764522
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Mariner Books - April 17th, 2018

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