Author Claire Messud discusses "The Burning Girl" Wednesday in Mystic

Author Claire Messud (WW Norton)
Author Claire Messud (WW Norton)

How many times a day do we cheerfully make the drive to the convenience store or a Dunkin' Donuts or the gas station or the cinema or ... ? We don't even think about such things.

Take a few minutes, then, Wednesday to stop by Bank Square Books to meet and listen to author and Guggenheim fellow Claire Messud discuss the new paperback edition of her latest novel, "The Burning Girl." A riveting story about Julie and Cassie, two teenage best friends growing apart when one runs away in desperation, "The Burning Girl" was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and named one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, NPR, Financial Times, Town & Country, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and so on.

In fact, writing in The Guardian, no less than Ursula K. Le Guinn said of "The Burning Girl," "There is a lot of grief in this novel. I resist novelists who want to take me on a guilt trip and at first I thought that's what Messud was doing, but I was wrong. Her novel is, rather, a kind of ceremony of mourning." Sold.

To meet an author of Messud's talent and spend some time with "The Burning Girl" seems like a fine investment.

Claire Messud, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Bank Square Books, 53 West Main St., Mystic; free, copies available for purchase; (860) 536-3795.

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