Claire Messud

(Geb. 1966 in Greenwich, CT)

(...) I picked up »The Loser« and was not only mesmerized, and horrified, but felt also profoundly spoken to: here was a book — a ranting monologue more naturally than a novel — obsessing unflinchingly about the things that have always obsessed me. About art and ambition and failure and delusion and death. (...)

There is much to admire in the sheer black, hilarious slog of it. Bernhard’s raging narrators liberated me, as a writer, to inhabit the most dislikeable characters. What I strive for, and what makes him crucial for me — literarily, as in life — is his passionate, principled decision to please no one but the truth, his truth. And let the conventional pleasures of fiction be damned.


Claire Messud: »Fiercely Unlovely ›Loser‹ Doesn’t Need to Please«, in »All Things Considered«, National Public Radio, 21. August 2007.