• Title

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan

    • Share:
    June 05, 2018



    Pulitzer Prize-winning author of

    A Visit from the Goon Squad



    with her New York Times bestseller



    Tuesday, June 26, at 7:00pm


    Named one of the best books of the year by NPR, Esquire,

    Vogue, The Washington Post, USA TODAY and Time


    "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


    “Egan’s most remarkable accomplishment yet.”

    — Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe


    Portsmouth, New Hampshire, May 23, 2018 - 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 Tuesday, June 26, to talk about her New York Times bestseller, MANHATTAN BEACH, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, now available in paperback.


    The 7pm event includes an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with Peter Biello, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” It will be held at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater at 28 Chestnut Street, in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


    “Jennifer Egan last stopped at The Music Hall after winning the Pulitzer Prize for A Visit from the Goon Squad in 2011. She returns with her latest book, MANHATTAN BEACH, which is also remarkable. Set during World War II, it tells the story of a young woman doing what was considered a man’s job at the time: diving in the Brooklyn Naval Yard. The book’s language is beautiful, but what I love most is the excitement—here we have gangsters, family secrets, romance, and underwater scenes so vivid with detail, it feels as though you’re diving with Anna. I am so happy to have this extraordinary American writer here at The Music Hall again,” said Patricia Lynch, The Music Hall’s Executive Director.



    Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the 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, now soldiers abroad. 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.


    MANHATTAN BEACH delves into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men, and the result is a deft, dazzling exploration of a transformative moment in American history.



    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 for Writers on a New England Stage: Jennifer Egan on Tuesday, June 26, at 7:00pm are $13.75 ($11.75 for members). To secure a signed copy of MANHATTAN BEACH, purchase a book voucher in advance ($17, paperback). 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: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPG5O4SI9TZ3JGedp1WVICF6uhNGoIXWf-JuTd9ePJYLsPWEiuqAkdYStaVnfOphw?key=LVV1QnZVMTZxb2g0czJka2tSUWNKSmZuWi15SlRB


    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 Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.” 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


    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




    "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


    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


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


    "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


    “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


    “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




    “Pitch perfect. . . . Darkly, rippingly funny. . . . Egan possesses a satirist’s eye and a romance novelist’s heart.” —The New York Times Book Review


    “At once intellectually stimulating and moving. . . . Like a masterful album, this one demands a replay.” —The San Francisco Chronicle


    “A new classic of American fiction.” —Time


    “Audacious, extraordinary.” —Philadelphia Inquirer


    “A spiky, shape-shifting new book. . . . A display of Egan’s extreme virtuosity.” —The New York Times


    “Wildly ambitious. . . . A tour de force. . . . Music is both subject and metaphor as Egan explores the mutability of time, destiny, and individual accountability post-technology.” —O, The Oprah Magazine


    “The smartest book you can get your hands on.” —Los Angeles Times


    “A rich and unforgettable novel about decay and endurance, about individuals in a world as it changes around them. . . . [Egan] is one of the most talented writers today.” —The New York Review of Books


    “It ends in the same place it starts, except that everything has changes, including you, the reader.” —The New Republic


    “Clever. Edgy. Groundbreaking. . . . Features characters about whom you come to care deeply as you watch them doing things they shouldn’t, acting gloriously, infuriatingly human.” —The Chicago Tribune


    “Egan’s bravura fifth book samples from different eras (the glory days of punk; a slick, socially networked future) and styles (sly satire, moving tragedy, even PowerPoint) to explore the interplay between music and the rough rhythms of life.” —Vogue


    “Told with both affection and intensity, Goon Squad stands as a brilliant, all-absorbing novel for the beach, the woods, the air-conditioned apartment or the city stoop while wearing your iPod. Stay with this one.” —Alan Cheuse, NPR’s All Things Considered


    “Brilliant, inventive. . . . Emboldening. It cracks the world open afresh. . . . Would that Marcel Proust could receive [a copy]. It would blow his considerable mind. . . . Expect to inhale Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad. Then expect it to lodge in your cranium and your breastbone a good long while.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer


    “Frequently dazzling. . . . Egan’s expert flaying of human foibles has the compulsive allure of poking at a sore tooth: excruciating but exhilarating too.” —Entertainment Weekly


    “If Egan is our reward for living through the self-conscious gimmicks and ironic claptrap of postmodernism, then it was all worthwhile. . . . [A] triumph of technical bravado and tender sympathy. . . . Turn up the music, skip the college reunion and curl up with The Goon Squad instead.” —The Washington Post


    About The Music Hall

    The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, designated an American Treasure for the Arts by the National Park Service’s Save America's Treasures Program, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner,  named "best performing arts venue" by Yankee Magazine and the recipient of the NH AIA award for design excellence.


    With acclaimed signature series including Writers on a New England Stage – a partnership between The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio – and the Intimately Yours music series, we bring top authors and artists to both stages. Also, HD broadcasts from The Metropolitan Opera and the National Theatre of London as well as extraordinary cinema fill both screens almost every night of the year.


    This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy: The Music Hall and its patrons contribute $7.1 million annually to the local economy through show and visitor related spending.


    Innovative in its outlook, the organization is community oriented and committed to making the Seacoast flourish. The Music Hall is a 501(c)3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board. Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 corporate partners and 58 community partner organizations. Welcoming more than 100,000 patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget.


    Web: www.TheMusicHall.org | Twitter: @MusicHall | Facebook: /musichall | YouTube: /musichallnh


    “The crown jewel of Portsmouth’s cultural scene” - Yankee Magazine

    “The beating cultural heart of New Hampshire's seacoast” -  Boston Globe
    Margaret Talcott, Producer