Jennifer Egan Archive

Anything Goes: Storytelling in a Digital Age

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In the age of the Internet, fiction writing is changing yet again. As readers and writers, should we fear the use of technology in books? History says “no.”

Opulence and Escalators: Xu Xi’s “Famine”

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Every once in a while the short story gets its moment in the literary spotlight. It happened in 2008 when Elizabeth Strout’s linked story collection, Olive Kitteridge, won the Pulitzer Prize; and again in 2013 when the Nobel Prize committee recognized Alice Munro’s lifetime achievement in the form.

The Internet in Literature: Sven Birkerts, Jennifer Egan, Chuck Klosterman, Jarett Kobek, & Patrick Madden

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Kurt Vonnegut, in A Man Without a Country (as quoted by Chuck Klosterman), writes, “I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex.” Yet books set before the ubiquity of the internet often grace bestseller lists and win

Critiquing Communication Creatively: Egan’s Twitter-Formatted “Black Box” As a Critique of 21st Century Conversation

Today, we have this new platform for conversation, a no-man’s land in the arena of how we communicate with one another. We can say just about whatever we want however we want, we can share and consume anything from artwork to politics, lip syncs to gun violence.

The Passionate Lives of Writers and Readers

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When my husband and I moved in together, one of the biggest challenges we faced was how to merge our TV-watching styles. For my husband, if the TV is on, you’re actively watching something. For me, if the TV is on, it means you’re home. (I need some kind

Dancing About Architecture

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“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” said Elvis Costello once, probably quoting someone else. And yet, and yet… It is apparently a strong urge to write about (or somehow with) music. The list of creative writing that involves music in some way is long, and grows longer every

Non Verbis, Sed Rebus

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My girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend recently sent me a link to an article entitled “8 New Punctuation Marks We Desperately Need.” As is often the case with my girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend, I couldn’t quite tell if she was joking. Further complicating the matter was the fact that the article came from CollegeHumor.com, a decidedly

Literary Boroughs #5: Brooklyn, NY

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. The series will run on our blog from May 2012 until AWP13 in Boston. Please enjoy the fifth