(One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2006) The author of three New York Times Notable Books—two of them also finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award—Claire Messud returns with this arch satire. Thirty-ish, beautiful, and privileged, Marina Thwaite and her educated, elitist friends see themselves as the arbiters of American culture, although they've actually contributed very little to it. They orbit Marina's father Murray, a celebrated liberal journalist who made his reputation in Vietnam. Into their circle comes a would-be acolyte, stunned by the hypocrisy at Thwaite's core, and a cynical Aussie who plans to marry Marina and destroy Thwaite to make his own name.
"Messud is that bold spectator in the crowd willing to shout out that the emperor has no clothes—and neither do his children."—Washington Post Book World