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Claire Messud made her noteworthy debut as a novelist with “When the World Was Steady,” which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner award. “The Emperor’s Children,” published in 2006, was a New York Times best-seller and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel is her sixth, “The Woman Upstairs” (Vintage/Random House). Messud has taught creative writing at the University of Maryland, Kenyon College, Amherst College and Johns Hopkins University. She also teaches a course in literary traditions at Hunter College. Her work has appeared in The New York Review of Books.