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Look at Me
In fact, the entire chapter is in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. Jennifer Egan: I think what first made me so interested in it was reading something about the Obama campaign two summers ago, when things really turned around for him. I had read that one critical element of the turnaround had been this PowerPoint presentation that laid out clearly where things were not falling into place and what needed to be done to change them.
And at that point I thought this has really become an absolutely sort of archetypal form of communication now.
THOSE BRAINIER LEVELS.” Strange things that fascinate Jennifer Egan: Twins Medieval architecture. Online dating. Vampire soap operas.
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She looks like a movie star, and her newfound fame has got her invited to a whole lot of celebrity parties and events, which might, she says, be fabulous. An avid Google search began that ended up with me knocking on her door at 1pm on a blistering New York Tuesday afternoon. Apart from novels, Jennifer turns out exemplary journalism on subjects united by their zeitgeisty relevance. Jennifer struck me as a thoughtfully provocative sort.
She does it elegantly. The reviews of her novels in her online press cuttings portfolio exude the quiet respect of her peer group. The portraits accompanying her work depict a gorgeous blonde with movie-star bone structure.
Readers may love you; critics may praise you; you might win a big prize. Her sons, Manu and Raoul, have grown from toddlers to teen-agers. Egan, at fifty-five, is about as famous as a contemporary American literary novelist can expect to be, but it can be hard to say what kind of novelist she is. She is a realist with a speculative bent of mind, a writer of postmodern inclinations with the instincts of an old-fashioned entertainer.
A Visit from the Goon Squad | Egan, Jennifer | ISBN: has a circuitous structure that seems almost designed for our Internet rewired brains.”.
Jennifer Egan was born in Chicago, where her paternal grandfather was a police commander and bodyguard for President Truman during his visits to that city. In those student years she did a lot of traveling, often with a backpack: China, the former USSR, Japan, much of Europe, and those travels became the basis for her first novel, The Invisible Circus, and her story collection, Emerald City.
She came to New York in and worked an array of wacky jobs while learning to write: catering at the World Trade Center; joining the word processing pool at a midtown law firm; serving as the private secretary for the Countess of Romanones, an OSS spy-turned-Spanish countess by marriage , who wrote a series of bestsellers about her spying experiences and famous friends. Her first novel, The Invisible Circus, came out in and was released as a movie starring Cameron Diaz in Also a journalist, Egan has written many cover stories for the New York Times Magazine on topics ranging from young fashion models to the secret online lives of closeted gay teens.
Her cover story on homeless children received the Carroll Kowal Journalism Award, and her story on bipolar children won an Outstanding Media Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons. Photo credit Pieter M. Van Hattem. Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family Two cousins, devastated by a childhood prank, reunite 20 years later to renovate a castle in Eastern Europe.
The fortress has a bloody history that stretches back hundreds of years
Cyber dating has grown in popularity and respectability since the advent of online personals in the mids. Computer dating began in the s, when scientists used mainframe computers to match people based on interests and appearances. Journalist Andrea Orr, however, suggests that cyber dating puts a technological spin on a much older trend: matrimonial services, which matched couples in the s.
Jennifer Egan’s latest novel, a satirical dissection of America’s decaying music industry, homosexual loneliness dating from (‘Lonely Gay Teen Seeking Same’, The reviews of her novels in her online press cuttings portfolio exude the.
After Goon Squad made its way onto many a top ten list in , it made waves again last month when it beat out Freedom for the ultra-prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award. She took some time to talk to EW about Goon Squad and why it connected. So does winning one of the most prestigious literary awards out there feel like a culmination of sorts for you? It gives the whole thing a somewhat accidental feeling. I think the big-picture value is that they generate excitement about the industry — a welcome thing, especially in these challenging times.
For individual authors, of course, awards and lists can generate prestige and sales. There was a bit of an online outcry when an LA Times article ran a story about your NBCC Award win but pictured Jonathan Franzen instead, as if his loss were the bigger story than your win. What was your response to that? It was funny; by the time I knew of the brouhaha, it seemed to have taken on a life of its own. In a way, whatever aggravation I might have felt was preempted by the fact that so many other people were incensed on my behalf!
We pass them on sidewalks, sit across from them in the subway and in restaurants; we glimpse their lighted windows from our own lighted windows late at night. In most of America, people float alongside one another on freeways as they drive between the city and the places where they live. To lock eyes with a stranger is to feel the gulf between proximity and familiarity and to wish — at least sometimes, briefly, most of us — that we could jump the hedges of our own narrow lives and find those people again when they drift out of sight.
Jennifer Egan , born September 6, , Chicago, Illinois , American novelist and short-story writer whose diverse works garnered great critical acclaim. Egan was born in Chicago but grew up in San Francisco. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and then went to England to study at St. During this period she also visited different locales in Europe. Her excursions were reflected in her first novel , The Invisible Circus ; film , which tells the story of a girl who travels through Europe, tracing the footsteps of her dead sister.
Her short-story collection Emerald City was also inspired by her European travels. In her second novel, Look at Me —a story about a model whose face needs to be rebuilt after she is injured in an automobile accident—Egan explored the themes of identity and reality in a world driven by consumerism. The book was a National Book Award finalist.
Jennifer EGAN (IRL)
Egan is both a captivating storyteller and an incisive social observer. Creative and venturesome, she has taken a different approach in each of her fictional works, and all are shaped by her beautifully calibrated lyricism, precise psychology, uncanny insights into cultural trends, and keen satire. Egan is fascinated by the interplay between the world of appearances and the inner realm of feeling and thought, and considers with open-mindedness our longing for transcendence.
This preoccupation with the Wizard-of-Oz-like aspect of existence and our spiritual impulse shaped her accomplished first novel, The Invisible Circus , a haunting tale about the toll of grief and the distortion of nostalgia. Egan attains a similarly captivating, if more concentrated, level of emotional intensity and social perception in Emerald City and Other Stories , an outstanding collection of elegant and poignant short stories about quests abroad, at home, and within the psyche.
Dreams, naivete, unexpected connections, and secrets are all sharply rendered and resonant.
Meaning to Short Fiction” and Wired’s “Let’s Hope Jennifer Egan’s Twitter conjuring as it does the often-duplicitous world of online dating.
The city is full of people we can’t reach. We pass them on sidewalks, sit across from them in the subway and in restaurants; we glimpse their lighted windows from our own lighted windows late at night. That’s in New York. In most of America, people float alongside one another on freeways as they drive between the city and the places where they live. To lock eyes with a stranger is to feel the gulf between proximity and familiarity and to wish — at least sometimes, briefly, most of us — that we could jump the hedges of our own narrow lives and find those people again when they drift out of sight.
In a sense, the explosion of online personals speaks to the fervency of that wish.
Jennifer Egan : It’s a book about time, and I knew that going in, and time and music are so interwoven. I mean, nothing makes time seem to evaporate like hearing a song that you remember from an earlier moment of your life, and I think we’re all very aware of that now, especially because of our individualized music systems that we walk around with all the time. I feel steeped in my own past, I think more than I would if I didn’t wear an iPod when I went running, and I also, a book about time nowadays, just has to be about technology, because I think so much of what has changed in our lifetimes is just the way we do things technologically, and of course, the music business has really been decimated by some of those changes and is basically in a free fall.
So it became an interesting lens through which to look at technological change. Welcome to Art Works, the program that goes behind the scenes with some of the nation’s great artists to explore how art works. I’m your host, Josephine Reed.
Watermark Books & Cafe will host Jennifer Egan for an author talk and signing of her novel Manhattan Beach on Tuesday, June 12 at p.m.
America, the near future. A young spy on a mission logs her observations. The result is an intense thriller, and a minute dissection of the experience of a woman whose beauty is also her camouflage, for whom control relies on submission: a woman whose success – whose life – depends on being seen and not seen. A Visit From the Goon Squad.
The Invisible Circus. Emerald City and Other Stories.