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Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. A Visit from the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2011. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.
Author photo © Pieter Van Hattem
I first came across the author with The Keep, a hypnotising duel-time, multi-narrative work. Then came her Pultizer Prize winning A Visit From the Goon Squad, an impressive novel which spans decades through the lives of complex characters. So I was really surprised to find this, her first 'historical' novel follows a linear pattern, a more conventional read than I was expecting, but nonetheless totally absorbing. Beginning in the Great Depression and closing at the end of WWII, it concentrates on Anna, her father and initially her very disabled sister. Her father is mixed up in organised crime, working for gangster Dexter Styles, whom Anna first meets when she is twelve, their paths cross dramatically again when she is in her twenties. She works as a diver in the Brooklyn Naval Yard, the first woman to do so, and we are presented with a heroine fighting for recognition and breaking the mould of what is expected for a young woman at that time. I loved it. Highly recommended.
Where Jennifer Egan's previous book A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD was all brevity and ellipses in the way the varied short stories moved between genres and came together to form a whole, her much-awaited new opus is what one would term an old-fashioned novel in its attention to detail, scope and intentions. Lengthy, detailed, meticulous, with a cast of many and a profound mystery at its core, it will surprise readers who only latched on to her protean talent with her previous, unexpected bestseller but were unaware of how she changes her stories, style and preoccupations from book to book. Set during the Depression years and World War Two, the story centers on an Irish family in Brooklyn living in the shadow of the Naval Yard where their lives are switched off course by a mysterious disappearance which forms the heart of the lingering plot. Children, gangsters, lost souls and a sad gallery of damaged human beings are part of the book's unfolding and fascinating tapestry. A book for grown-ups! ~ Maxim Jakubowski
April 2012 Book of the Month. This is the stunning, emotional debut novel, first published in 1995, from the unclassifiable but excellent author Jennifer Egan. She gained fame after winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for her spellbinding A Visit from the Goon Squad. In The Invisible Circus obsession over the death of a sister leads the surviving sibling on a odyssey to discover the truth, unearthing uncomfortable revelations about her family.
From the author of one of the top novels of 2011, A Visit from the Goon Squad, comes an elegant and poignant collection of short stories; seamless evocations of self-discovery. These eleven masterful stories - the first collection from acclaimed author Jennifer Egan - deal with loneliness and longing, regret and desire. The collection is not to be missed.
September 2011 Book of the Month. From the author of the bestselling A Visit from the Goon Squad, this is one of Jennifer Egan's bold, innovative earlier novels published in a new edition, which demonstrates her virtuosity at weaving a spellbinding, ambitious tale with language that dazzles, captures the spirit of our times and offers an unsettling glimpse of the future. As her story eerily converges with that of a plain, unhappy teenager - another Charlotte - it raises tantalizing questions about identity and reality in contemporary Western culture.
One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. Winner of the Galaxy International Author of the Year Award 2011. I came across Jennifer Egan with her third novel The Keep which won the American National Book Award but slipped into this country almost unnoticed. It was one of my very special books of 2007 so I leapt on this one with glee. Very different but still very special. I think it is her writing I really enjoy, she could take any subject and I’d happily get lost in it. This is the music scene but it is actually a novel about people, ambition, hope and life; I loved it. It has recently won the Pulitzer Prize. The Lovereading view... Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2011. Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 10 Jul 2011. Jennifer Egan's spellbinding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an ageing former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. This is a book about the interplay of time and music, about survival, about the stirrings and transformations set inexorably in motion by even the most passing conjunction of our fates. Sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers.
Winner of the Galaxy International Author of the Year Award 2011. April 2011 Book of the Month. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2011. One of the 20 Longlisted titles for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011. Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 10 Jul 2011. A patchwork of lives and experiences are sewn together in this clever, edgy, beautifully written and spellbinding novel that is practically impossible to pigeon-hole in to a style or genre. With dry wit, dark humour the reader is taken on a journey with an ageing former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Sly, startling, exhilarating work from one of our boldest writers. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 14 April 2011.