Novelist Claire Messud talks with Marco Werman about a trip she took to Beirut in 2010. Messud had always wanted to visit the city, because her father had spent some of his childhood there -- but in 2010, her father was very ill in a hospice in Connecticut.
Still, she decided to go -- hoping, she says, to "bring something back for my father from Beirut, even if it was an intangible something."
Messud's article about the experience is in the current issue of Granta magazine.
Novelist Claire Messud had always been interested in visiting Beirut.
Her father had spent some of his boyhood there.
But in 2010, when she was invited to teach for two weeks in the city, she faced a dilemma.
Her father was in a hospice in Connecticut at the time, and didn't have long to live.
Messud decided to go to Beirut.
"I had in my head some almost novelistic idea," she says, "some fantasy, that I could bring something back for my father from Beirut, even if it was an intangible something."
Messud has an article about her experience in the current issue of Granta magazine.
It's called "The Road to Damascus".
She spoke with Marco Werman about why it was important to her to visit the city before her father died.