Claire Messud's Novel The Woman Upstairs

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Claire Messud talks about her new novel, The Woman Upstairs. Nora Eldridge, an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, long ago compromised her dream to be a successful artist, mother and lover and has instead become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and neighbor always on the fringe of others’ achievements. But she finds herself drawn deep into the complex world of a family.


Claire Messud
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Comments [4]

Shanti from Jersey City

I think it would be interesting to separate a few strands of "women's" fiction here: female writers, female characters (those created by female authors versus those created by male authors), and female readers. The earlier part of this segment seemed to conflate those various strands in discussing the expectations about and reception of "angry" female lead characters.

Jun. 12 2013 01:19 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Or maybe it's the other way around: those Victorian madwomen in the attics were mad = angry, not mad = insane (just treated that way).

Jun. 12 2013 01:16 PM
deborah stevenson from brooklyn

I really want to read this book!

Did you read Doris Lessing when you were young? What do you think of her?

Jun. 12 2013 01:12 PM
mary from ny

how much of the book is autobiographical

Jun. 12 2013 01:10 PM

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