Pulitzer call interrupts Egan’s lunch at Olea!

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Jennifer Egan’s mantel is getting heavy.

On Monday, the czars of the literary and journalism awards declared Egan’s novel, “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. This comes a month after the author won the National Book Critics Circle for fiction for the same book.

The Pulitzer judges called Egan’s epic “an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed.”

Indeed, time was a central figure for Egan in the book, which follows interweaving characters in the music industry.

“The book is about time, and time and music are so interwoven,” said Egan when we spoke to her last month. “We walk around awash in our own past, listening to songs that meant a lot to us at certain points.”

Egan was enjoying lunch in her neighborhood, at Olea on Lafayette Avenue, on Monday when she got a call from her publicist with the news.

“I got a couple bites of my arugula salad and I was running out the door, bumbling home in a fog,” said Egan. “I felt disoriented at first, like I was on the streets that I knew, but it felt unrecogniz­able.”

A few hours later, Egan was busy with another meal — preparing Passover dinner for 15 — and was still coming to grips with her achievement.

“There’s a part of me that feels this is something you dream about happen, not something that happens,” said Egan. “I feel like this book has gotten a lot of love, and honestly I was not expecting or even hoping for more. It really is an embarrassment of riches. I can’t imagine I have any more good luck in me. I’m really trying to savor every moment of it.”

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jaded from br says:
Goon Squad? -- couldn't get into it. Didn't get last year's Tinkers either. I'll keep on trying though.
April 19, 2011, 10:21 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Great book...I hate to say this, but it is the first book I've enjoyed by a woman author since Interpreter of Maladies (short story collection...also with a Fort Greene connection!)
April 19, 2011, 11:09 am
Mary from carroll gardens says:

so true. hated tinkers and olive kitteridge which won in 2009. Freedom should have won this year. Franzen gets ripped off again.
April 19, 2011, 11:52 am
Satish Chandra from Toronto says:
The Indian press is full of headlines like "Indian-American wins Pulitzer prize for book on cancer". What is so great about a history of cancer? Has he found a cure for cancer? I have. I am India's expert in strategic defence, the father of India's strategic program including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and the world's greatest scientist and my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.' which can be found by a Yahoo/Google search with the title describes how C.I.A.-RAW keep India poor, weak and enslaved by suppressing the best and rewarding the mediocre: "India's greatest scientist and greatest living Indian publicly tortured in Harvard seminar, systematically and totally starved for up to 3 weeks at a time, made semi-starved and homeless and even blind for years, kept under 24-hour audio and video surveillance as well as surveillance of communications and electrical typewriter and computer use, document creation and photocopying, etc., by satellite for more than past 3 decades, systematically harassed and in poverty and neutralised and robbed of his work at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, robbed of crores in his money and property in India by C.I.A.-RAW, forced back into exile in the U.S., all with full cooperation and participation of India's RAW and India's C.I.A.-RAW-controlled prime ministers, politicians and media" and how this means the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States. Within the above blog look for 'How India's Economy Can Grow 30% Per Year Or More' and 'What You Should Know About RAW'.

Satish Chandra
April 19, 2011, 8:22 pm

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