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Author Claire Messud speaks about the art of writing. She is pictured outside her office, one of the places where she writes, in the Bunting Quadrangle at Harvard University. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Turns of narrative

For novelist Claire Messud, getting the story down can mean letting it stray



Carol Oja, Harvard’s William Powell Mason Professor of Music, chair of the Music Department, and the Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence with the New York Philharmonic, was in the midst of researching another book on Bernstein’s work when “I realized there was this whole really fascinating racial history” connected with the first production of "On the Town."

In 1944, Broadway subversion

Young, gifted creators of ‘On the Town’ quietly stirred diversity into their groundbreaking musical, professor recounts