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This Strange Eventful History: A Novel

This Strange Eventful History: A Novel

Author Claire Messud
Publisher W. W. Norton
Publication Date 2024-05-14
Section New Hardcover - Fiction
Type New
Format Hardccover
ISBN 9780393635041

One of Oprah Daily's Most Anticipated Books of 2024 • One of New York magazine's "23 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2024" • One of The Guardian's "Books to Look Out for in 2024" • One of The Globe & Mail's Most Anticipated Books of 2024 • One of BookPage's Most Anticipated fiction of 2024 • One of Lit Hub's“Most Anticipated Books of 2024” • One of Book Riot's "Most Anticipated Books of 2024"

An immersive, masterful story of a family born on the wrong side of history, from one of our finest contemporary novelists.

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).

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