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  • Meet Pulitzer Prize Winner Jennifer Egan on June 26

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    June 13, 2018




    with her New York Times bestseller



    Tuesday, June 26, at 7:00pm


    JUST ANNOUNCED  - Meet the author as she signs and personalizes books after the event. Purchase MANHATTAN BEACH on the night and join us backstage.


    "To see the world through Egan’s eyes is to be moved, through language, to new adoration of the world. I don’t know a better writer working today."

    George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo


    “An old-fashioned page-turner, tweaked by this witty and sophisticated writer. … This is a big novel that moves with agility.”

    Dwight Garner, The New York Times


    What: Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan returns to The Music Hall as part of the Writers on a New England Stage series to talk about her New York Times bestseller, MANHATTAN BEACH, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and named one of the best books of the year by NPR, Esquire, Vogue, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, and Time. The novel starts with 12-year-old Anna Kerrigan accompanying her father to visit Dexter Styles. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond his house and by some charged mystery between the two men. ‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once 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. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life and the reasons he might have vanished. The 7pm event includes an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with Peter Biello, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s broadcast of  All Things Considered and The Bookshelf, an ongoing NHPR segment featuring authors from around New Hampshire and the region. Patrons who purchase a book voucher in advance or a book on the night will be welcomed backstage to meet the author as she signs and personalize their copies of MANHATTAN BEACH.


    When/Where:            Tuesday, June 26, at 7:00pm

                                      The Music Hall Historic Theater

                         28 Chestnut Street

                              Portsmouth, NH 03801


    About the Author: Jennifer Egan is the author of five previous books of fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Keep; the story collection Emerald City; Look at Me, a National Book Award Finalist; and The Invisible Circus. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Granta, McSweeney's, and The New York Times Magazine.


    Tickets: Tickets for Writers on a New England Stage: Jennifer Egan on Tuesday, June 26, at 7:00pm are $13.75 ($11.75 for members). Patrons who purchase book vouchers ($17, paperback) in addition will be welcomed backstage post-show to have their copies of MANHATTAN BEACH signed and personalized by the author. Tickets can be purchased online at TheMusicHall.org, over the phone at 603.436.2400, or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street.  All tickets are general admission/unassigned, so arrive early to get the best seats!


    For further information, or to request an author interview, please contact: Margaret Talcott, Producer, The Music Hall, at mtalcott@themusichall.org or Patricia Lynch, Executive Producer, at plynch@themusichall.org


    For images, please see:



    About Writers on a New England Stage

    This award-winning author series, launched in 2005, has presented such celebrated authors as Dan Brown, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, USSC Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Judy Blume, Tom Brokaw, Jodi Picoult, and David McCullough; all on stage at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater in downtown Portsmouth, NH.  Each literary evening features an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with a New Hampshire Public Radio host. Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught. Shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio.


    Writers on a New England Stage is a partnership between The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio


    About New Hampshire Public Radio

    Since 1981, NHPR has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond, through its mission of “expanding minds, sparking connections, and building stronger communities.” NHPR is broadcast from 14 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week, NHPR is the choice of more than 170,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage, with thousands more viewing NHPR.org and NHPR social media sites. Each day, New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by its award-winning news team. Locally-produced programs include The Exchange, Word of Mouth, The Folk Show, Outside/In, Civics 101, and numerous podcasts. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcasts national  programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and This American Life.


    About The Music Hall

    The Music Hall is an active and vital cultural center in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, dedicated to the advancement of the tri-state region’s cultural life through the performing arts, literature, and education.  A community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, it presents entertainment from around the world and around the corner—the greatest musicians, writers, and performers of the time, extraordinary films, and award-winning documentaries. Its 600 yearly events delight an annual audience of 130,000 (including 20,000 children) in two theaters—an 1878 Victorian-era Historic Theater and the modern and intimate Loft space. The Music Hall was recently named Editors’ Choice “Best All-Around Entertainment” by Yankee Magazine and is a designated “American Treasure for the Arts.” Through innovative community partnerships, it subsidizes thousands of tickets each year to make the arts accessible to all. The Music Hall is community-oriented and committed to helping the Seacoast region flourish.  


    Presenting Sponsors:  The University of New Hampshire; Kennebunk Savings

    Series Sponsor:  Piscataqua Landscaping & Tree Service

    Media Sponsor:  Yankee Magazine

    Season Sponsors:  Carey & Giampa, Realtors; Portwalk Place; the River House restaurant

    Contributing Partner: University of New Hampshire



    “Rich, brilliant, capacious . . . Egan has every gift a writer can possess . . . . Moving, mournful, and often profound.” —USA Today


    “Egan’s most remarkable accomplishment yet. . . . At once a suspenseful novel of noir intrigue, a gorgeously wrought and richly allusive literary tapestry, and a transporting work of lyrical beauty and emotional heft, MANHATTAN BEACH is a magnificent achievement.” — Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe


    MANHATTAN BEACH is ambitiously and deliciously plot-driven.” —NPR's “Fresh Air”


    “Egan’s first foray into historical fiction makes you forget you’re reading historical fiction at all.” —Elle


    “Egan’s prose is transparent and elegant. . . .But the chief joy of reading MANHATTAN BEACH lies in diving under the surface pleasures of the plot (which are plentiful — it’s immersive and compelling), and sinking slowly to its dark and unknowable depths. There are deep truths there.” — Vox


    “…dares to satisfy us in a way that stories of an earlier age used to.” Ron Charles, The Washington Post


    “An unusually well written, well researched, emotionally satisfying page-turner . . . MANHATTAN BEACH is the kind of book you can immerse yourself in happily.” Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle


    "A bounteous miracle that makes you feel that past time, and our time, differently; everything becomes freshly energized, infused with humanity, vital, sad, and full of importance. To see the world through Egan’s eyes is to be moved, through language, to new adoration of the world. I don’t know a better writer working today. There is a generosity in her prose that is vastly enlivening to its reader and brings about that beautiful effect fiction sometimes causes: more, and better-grounded, fondness for reality, just as it is." —George Saunders


    "MANHATTAN BEACH is so rich in detail and atmosphere; such an exploration of underworlds of all kinds, filled with lessons on lifelines and buoyancy and how to bear life’s weight by diving deep into it. Jennifer Egan has masterfully conjured an era we are on the cusp of losing. Her novel is an absorbing story, beautifully written. Its strands of subtle intrigue and quiet heroism make you reluctant to leave each page while eager to get to the next." —M.L. Stedman


    “Excellent . . . .MANHATTAN BEACH is a fleet, sinuous epic, abounding with evocative details and felicitous metaphors . . . . [it] magnificently captures the country on the brink of triumph and triumphalism.” —Bookforum


    “Egan’s propulsive, surprising, ravishing, and revelatory saga, a covertly profound page-turner that will transport and transform every reader, casts us all as divers in the deep, searching for answers, hope, and ascension.” —Booklist


    “After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways . . . Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel. Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there’s nothing Egan can’t do.” —Kirkus


    “This large, ambitious novel shows Egan at the top of her game. Anna is a true feminist heroine, and her grit and tenacity will make readers root for her.” — Library Journal


    “Tremendously assured and rich, moving from depictions of violence and crime to deep tenderness. The book’s emotional power demonstrates Egan’s extraordinary gifts.” —Publishers Weekly

    Margaret Talcott, Producer