Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships, as well as the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has written five previous works of fiction, including her most recent novel, The Woman Upstairs. Messud lives in Cambridge, Mass., with her family.
A bracing, hypnotic coming-of-age story about the bond of best friends, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor’s Children.
Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship. The Burning Girl is a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about youth and friendship, and straddles, expertly, childhood’s imaginary worlds and painful adult reality—crafting a true, immediate portrait of female adolescence.
Claire Messud, one of our finest novelists, is as accomplished at weaving a compelling fictional world as she is at asking the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships? Brilliantly mixing fable and coming-of-age tale, The Burning Girl gets to the heart of these matters in an absolutely irresistible way.