1. Novelist Claire Messud talks to Terry Gross about the entitlement of artists and where she falls on the spectrum:

Our idea of the artists and what the artist should be entitled to and so on is a cultural convention, and therefore changes overtime. So, I think, if you look back to a certain male writer of the mid-century or second half of the 20th century, there are these strong patriarchal men whose wives brought tea and left them in their studies and raised children. So you can go much further back and find that with Tolstoy, too, of course or Dickens: the wives were doing a lot of work and not necessarily having much fun and the men were getting on with the great work of creating. But I think that now that society has changed somewhat that it’s harder for men. Also it may still be harder for women than for men but it is also hard for men to claim that space as fully as once men did.  So where would I place myself in a spectrum? Well, you know, I would say not far enough along the selfishness track to get enough done. … But on the other hand, I can’t be otherwise. I can’t be who I am and be otherwise. I love my family. I couldn’t live without my family. So being attentive to the people that I love is an important part of my life.


Image of Claire Messud courtesy of NPR View in High-Res

    Novelist Claire Messud talks to Terry Gross about the entitlement of artists and where she falls on the spectrum:

    Our idea of the artists and what the artist should be entitled to and so on is a cultural convention, and therefore changes overtime. So, I think, if you look back to a certain male writer of the mid-century or second half of the 20th century, there are these strong patriarchal men whose wives brought tea and left them in their studies and raised children. So you can go much further back and find that with Tolstoy, too, of course or Dickens: the wives were doing a lot of work and not necessarily having much fun and the men were getting on with the great work of creating. But I think that now that society has changed somewhat that it’s harder for men. Also it may still be harder for women than for men but it is also hard for men to claim that space as fully as once men did.

    So where would I place myself in a spectrum? Well, you know, I would say not far enough along the selfishness track to get enough done. … But on the other hand, I can’t be otherwise. I can’t be who I am and be otherwise. I love my family. I couldn’t live without my family. So being attentive to the people that I love is an important part of my life.

    Image of Claire Messud courtesy of NPR

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Claire Messud

    The Woman Upstairs