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Manhattan Beach: A Novel of WWII New York

Jennifer Egan
In Conversation With Marisa Silver
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Episode Summary

“Is there anything Egan can’t do?” asked The New York Times Book Review. In the long-awaited follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize–winning A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan masters her first historical novel. Beginning during the middle of the Great Depression, Manhattan Beach follows the story of Anna Kerrigan, a young girl who comes of age with a country at war. Inheriting the role of providing for her mother and sister after her father mysteriously disappears, Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. Sharing from this hauntingly beautiful new work, Egan takes us back to a moment in time when in the lives of women and men, America and the world transformed forever.

Participant(s) Bio

Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her most recent book, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine. Her new novel, Manhattan Beach, was published in October 2017.

Marisa Silver is the author of Little Nothing, Mary Coin, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Southern California Independent Bookseller’s Award, and an NPR and BBC Best Book of the Year, Alone with You, The God of War, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, No Direction Home, and Babe in Paradise, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Her short fiction first appeared in The New Yorker when she was featured in the inaugural Debut Fiction issue. Her stories, criticism, and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker , and other publications. In 2017, Silver was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for the Creative Arts.