I meet Claire Messud at the London Review Bookshop one sodden evening in September when she is London to promote her latest novel, The Burning Girl. Her normal speaking voice is gentle anyway, but tonight she is speaking particularly softly so as not to disturb book browsers in the shop’s basement. I’m conscious we don’t have much time, so ask her to explain the genesis of the book.
“Why this book now?” she asks.
“Should I explain what the book is about?”