Jennifer Egan, Novelist & Journalist
“It’s precisely Egan’s talent for tapping into the American subconscious . . . that has established the author and journalist as a prescient literary voice.” —Vogue
“Jennifer Egan is one of the most gifted writers of her generation.”
Jennifer Egan is a novelist, journalist and short story writer. Her four books of fiction are wildly diverse, a fact that led Madison Smartt Bell to call her “a refreshingly unclassifiable novelist” in his review of her novel, The Keep, for the New York Times Book Review. The Keep was a National Bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book for 2006, and on the “Best Books” lists of the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle. Egan’s other books are Look at Me, a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001, The Invisible Circus, which became a movie starring Cameron Diaz, and Emerald City and Other Stories. She has written many in-depth cover stories for the New York Times Magazine on such topics as homeless children, Catholic seminarians, and single women using donor sperm to become mothers. She has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper's, Zoetrope and Ploughshares, among others.
Egan is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was recently a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She was born in Chicago, where her maternal and paternal grandfathers were a football player for the Chicago Bears and a police commander on the South Side, respectively. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
ABOUT THE KEEP (Paperback 2007)
“Dazzling...Egan gets everything right--from the convolutions of the strung-out male mind to the self-deceptions of a drug addict--and her skill will keep you marveling at the pages that you can't help turning.”
—Francine Prose, People Magazine *Critic's Choice* (Four stars)
Two cousins, irreversibly damaged by a childhood prank whose devastating consequences changed both their lives, reunite twenty years later to renovate a medieval castle in Eastern Europe, a castle steeped in blood lore and family pride. Built over a secret system of caves and tunnels, the castle and its violent history invoke and subvert all the elements of a gothic past: twins, a pool, an old baroness, a fearsome tower. In an environment of extreme paranoia, cut off from the outside world, the men reenact the signal event of their youths, with even more catastrophic results. And as the full horror of their predicament unfolds, a prisoner, in jail for an unnamed crime, recounts an unforgettable story—a story about two cousins who unite to renovate a castle—that brings the crimes of the past and present into piercing relation.
Photo Credit: Marion Ettlinger