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Manhattan Beach: A Novel (CD-Audio)
Egan conjures up a wonderful tableau of characters in this richly told novel about NYC during WW II. A precocious ingénue turned hard hat diver is the star of the show, a crippled sister who briefly arises Lazarus-like, a fraught dad, and a gangster who can't quite decide if he fits the mold. This tale starts slowly, but properly so, since developing these complex characters takes time. The research into the functioning of New York's waterfront during the war effort is fascinating and her treatment of how all these lives connect delights to the very end. No wonder Egan is a Pulitzer Prize winner.— Dave
October 2017 Indie Next List
“Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach captures a time and place on the verge of momentous change. Set in Brooklyn in the 1940s, the novel tells the story of Anna Kerrigan, a young woman who has dropped out of Brooklyn College to contribute what she can to the American war effort. Unsatisfied with her job of inspecting and measuring machine parts, she attempts to enter the male-only world of deep-sea diving. Manhattan Beach is rich and atmospheric, highlighting a period when gangs controlled the waterfront, jazz streamed from the doors of nightclubs, and the future for everyone was far from certain.”
— Mark LaFramboise, Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NEW YORK’S “ONE BOOK, ONE NEW YORK” PICK
Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
The daring and magnificent novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author.
Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, Esquire, Vogue, The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA TODAY, Time • A New York Times Notable Book
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, the reasons he might have vanished.
“A magnificent achievement, at once a suspenseful noir intrigue and a transporting work of lyrical beauty and emotional heft” (The Boston Globe), “Egan’s first foray into historical fiction makes you forget you’re reading historical fiction at all” (Elle). Manhattan Beach takes us into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men in a dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.
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.
Praise for Jennifer Egan:
“Jennifer Egan may well be the best living American novelist.”
— Joe Klein
“Jennifer Egan is a writer of tremendous intelligence and grace.”
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Jennifer Egan is . . . dizzyingly inventive.”
— The Washington Post
“Is there anything Egan can’t do?”
— The New York Times Book Review (cover review)
Advanced Praise for Manhattan Beach:
“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 (starred review)
“Tremendously assured and rich, moving from depictions of violence and crime to deep tenderness. The book’s emotional power once again demonstrates Egan’s extraordinary gifts.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“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 (starred review)