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Book Cover for: This Strange Eventful History, Claire Messud

This Strange Eventful History

Claire Messud

Critic Reviews

Great

Based on 10 reviews on

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Over seven decades, from 1940 to 2010, the pieds-noirs Cassars live in an itinerant state--separated in the chaos of World War II, running from a complicated colonial homeland, and, after Algerian independence, without a homeland at all. This Strange Eventful History, told with historical sweep, is above all a family story: of patriarch Gaston and his wife Lucienne, whose myth of perfect love sustains them and stifles their children; of François and Denise, devoted siblings connected by their family's strangeness; of François's union with Barbara, a woman so culturally different they can barely comprehend one another; of Chloe, the result of that union, who believes that telling these buried stories will bring them all peace.

Inspired in part by long-ago stories from her own family's history, Claire Messud animates her characters' rich interior lives amid the social and political upheaval of the recent past. As profoundly intimate as it is expansive, This Strange Eventful History is "a tour de force...one of those rare novels that a reader doesn't merely read but lives through with the characters" (Yiyun Li).

Book Details

  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish Date: May 14th, 2024
  • Pages: 448
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.30in - 6.25in - 1.35in - 1.65lb
  • EAN: 9780393635041
  • Categories: LiterarySagasHistorical - 20th Century - General

About the Author

Messud, Claire: - Claire Messud is the author of six works of fiction. A recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she teaches at Harvard University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Critics’ reviews