February 4, 2008 If James Wood were a novel, a beginning like that would presage a barbed comedy of misfortune certain to teach our hero any number of unromantic lessons. If, on the other hand, after a series of fantastic triumphs, the protagonist were to become the pre-eminent literary critic of his generation, while remaining the kind of person with whom one would happily have a drink, a reader might be forgiven for dismissing the story as born of hysterical optimism. — The Financial Times profiled James Wood today, who is my favorite literary critic and the most unabashedly high-brow highbrow working in American letters (or at least on the staff of the New Yorker). AND he is married to Claire Messud, whose latest novel, The Emperor’s Children, is the kind of book I live for. I have a total crush on both of them.