The Emperor's Children

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The Emperor's Children
The Emperor's Children book cover.jpg
Author Claire Messud
Country United States
Language English
Published 2006 (Knopf)
Media type Print (Hardback)

The Emperor's Children is a 2006 novel by the American author Claire Messud. The author's third—and her first best-seller—it was longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize.


The novel focuses on the stories of three friends in their early thirties, living in Manhattan in the months leading up to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Each of the three is well-educated and privileged, but struggles with realizing the lofty expectations for individual personal and professional lives.


The Emperor's Children was widely and highly critically praised.[1] The New York Times named it one of the ten best books of 2006.[2] It also received the 2007 Massachusetts Book Award for fiction.[3]


It is currently being adapted into a film directed by Lake Bell, off a screenplay written by Noah Baumbach.[4] The film will star Keira Knightley, Eric Bana, and Richard Gere.[5] The film is being produced by Brian Grazer; Ron Howard was originally slated to direct as well, but left to work on The Dilemma.[5]



  1. ^ The critic compiler website, Metacritic, for example, gave the novel an 85, indicating "universal acclaim." See The Emperor's Children entry at
  2. ^ The 10 Best Books of 2006, The New York Times, December 10, 2006, retrieved June 8, 2011 .
  3. ^ Book Awards 2006
  4. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (March 23, 2010), Exclusive: Knightley, Bana, Gere Join 'Emperor's Children',, retrieved June 10, 2011 .

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