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We’re excited to publish an excerpt from Claire Messud’s forthcoming novel, A Dream Life. It’s 1971, the Armstrongs have moved from New York to Australia and reluctantly inhabit the role of gentry in a grand manor on the harbor. Alice Armstrong, by turns class oblivious and class consumed, seeks help with the considerable domestic labor their new life entails. Her first housekeepers (one named Africa is briefly mentioned in this excerpt) don’t pan out. Enter Simone Funk, who both recenters the story and expands its frame.