Worth the wait

Ed. If Will’s review is accurate, this might be worth a read. It seems to capture the temper of the time.

Townhall.com George Will September 10, 2006

Before the dust from the collapsed towers had settled, conventional wisdom had congealed: “Everything has changed.” But what about what matters most, the public’s sensibility?

It has taken five years for 9/11 to receive a novelist’s subtle and satisfying treatment, but it was worth the wait for Claire Messud’s “The Emperor’s Children.” Her intimation of the mark the attacks made on the American mind is convincing because in her comedy of manners, as in the nation’s life, that horrific event is, oddly, both pivotal and tangential.

Messud’s Manhattan story revolves around two women and a gay man who met as classmates at Brown University and who, as they turn 30 in 2001, vaguely yearn to do something “important” and “serious.” Vagueness — lack of definition — is their defining characteristic. Which may be because — or perhaps why — all three are in the media. All are earnest auditors and aspiring improvers of the nation’s sensibility.

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