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The Center for Fiction Presents Claire Messud on This Strange Eventful History with Jennifer Egan

Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT May 22, 2024

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

The Center for Fiction welcomes Claire Messud, acclaimed author of The Emperor’s Children and The Burning Girl, to discuss her latest work This Strange Eventful History. Named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2024 by LitHub, Time, and Oprah Daily, the novel tells the story of the Cassars, a family of pied-noirs or Algerian-born French people. Messud’s sprawling, decades-long family saga follows the Cassars as they are displaced after World War II and Algerian Independence. Inspired by her own family history, This Strange Eventful History is a sweeping yet intimate portrait of sociopolitical and personal upheaval that showcases why “Messud is one of contemporary literature’s best” (Kirkus Reviews).

Joining Messud in conversation is Jennifer Egan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad. Messud and Egan will have a rousing discussion on This Strange Eventful History and its exploration of family in a colonial society. After the conversation, Messud will sign books.


In Conversation

  • Messud, Claire - credit Lucian Wood Large

    Claire Messud

    Claire Messud

    Claire Messud is the author of seven works of fiction. She teaches at Harvard and is the recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. She’s been longlisted for the Booker Prize and has twice been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. This Stanger Eventful History is her first work of fiction in seven years.

    Photo Credit: Lucian Wood

  • Jennifer-Egan-by-Pieter-M.-Van-Hattem Large

    Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her 2017 novel, Manhattan Beach, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was chosen as New York City’s One Book One New York read. Her previous novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was recently named one of the best books of the decade by Time magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Her new novel, The Candy House, a companion to A Visit From the Goon Squad, was named one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2022 and one of President Obama’s favorite reads of the year. She recently completed a term as President of PEN America and is currently Artist-in-Residence in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Also a journalist, her year-long reporting on street homelessness and supportive housing in New York City was published in the New Yorker in September, 2023.

    Photo Credit: Pieter M. van Hattem