Danielle, a junior television producer, is on the hunt for the documentary idea that will make her reputation; Marina, the beautiful daughter of a famous and wealthy liberal journalist and intellectual, is desperate to prove her worth - while unsure exactly of how this is to be achieved; Julius, a freelance writer of devastating book reviews, is determined to live a fabulous Manhattan lifestyle on a budget of nothing at all.
The Emperor's Children follows these three friends - and their overlapping social and family circles - through their day-to-day lives, their perceived struggles and successes and their constant search for meaning and authenticity. Sweeping in scope, minutely perceptive about the nuances of Manhattan life, with richly drawn characters and vivid prose, The Emperor's Children is a finely textured portrait of a particular place at a particular moment - and a haunting illustration how the events of a single day can change everything, for ever. It reveals Claire Messud as a novelist in bloom, writing at the height of her powers.
'Messud is an expert storyteller. Her style is precise and illuminating . . . dazzling' Observer
'Messud's ability to filter her rich imagination through brilliantly precise prose allows her to show the kernel of redemption in even the most unlikely of human alliances' Sunday Times