Biography of Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. Her work is characterized by its innovative approach to structure and the variety of styles she writes in. Her books are both critically and commercially successful, regularly becoming bestsellers and being nominated for major awards. Born in Chicago in 1962, Egan attended the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate and studied English. She also received a master's degree in English from Cambridge. She is the author of seven books, including the novels The Invisible Circus (1994), Look at Me (2001), The Keep (2006), A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010), Manhattan Beach (2017), and The Candy House (2022), as well as the short story collection, The Emerald City (1993).

Her work often shows an interest in portraying the effects of time on her character's identities, using experimental techniques to capture its passage. In A Visit from the Good Squad, she uses an array of perspectives to show how different characters show up in different places, nearly unrecognizable as their former selves. In an interview with writer Heidi Julavits, she describes her goal in the following terms: "I don’t experience time as linear. I experience it in layers that seem to coexist. I feel like 20 years ago was really recent even though I was much younger and had a different kind of life. Yet at the same time I feel like I’m still kind of there. One thing that facilitates that kind of time travel is music, which is why I think music ended up being such an important part of the book. Also, I was reading Proust. He tries, very successfully in some ways, to capture the sense of time passing, the quality of consciousness, and the ways to get around linearity, which is the weird scourge of writing prose. There is the sense that one thing has to come before and after another if you’re writing a sentence." She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. She won the Pulitzer Prize and National Books Critic's Circle Award for A Visit from the Goon Squad. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband.

Study Guides on Works by Jennifer Egan

The Candy House is a speculative fiction novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan, first published in 2022. The novel follows the intersecting lives of various characters in a series of stylistically diverse short stories as they...