In Claire Messud’s acclaimed novel The Woman Upstairs, her fascinating character of Nora was held up as a perfect example of an unreliable narrator, to the point where some readers even questioned her sanity.
In The Hunters, a collection of two novellas, Messud seems to be dissecting the very idea of what a narrator is.
Maria, the lead character of A Simple Tale, discovers blood-streaked walls at the home of Mrs. Ellington, her employer whom she has worked for and cared for every Tuesday for over 40 years. The situation is not as critical as Maria fears, but the situation her employer finds herself in triggers a reminiscence as Maria looks back over her own life, a life of displacement and disappointment which has been marked by looking after others.
As a young girl in Ukraine, Maria was enslaved by the Nazis in WW” before emigrating with her Polish…
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