Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
A Novel

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Manhattan Beach isn't flawless. Especially at the beginning...But to focus on scattered imperfections would be like focusing on the litter of New York City streets while ignoring the wonder of the city itself.
-NPR

Synopsis

LONGLISTED for the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION

The daring and magnificent novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad.

“Immensely satisfying…an old-fashioned page-turner, tweaked by this witty and sophisticated writer…Egan is masterly at displaying mastery…she works a formidable kind of magic.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Dares to satisfy us in a way that stories of an earlier age used to.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“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

“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

“Egan’s first foray into historical fiction makes you forget you’re reading historical fiction at all.” —Elle

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.

With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan’s first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world. It is a magnificent novel by the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, one of the great writers of our time.
 

About Jennifer Egan

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Jennifer Egan is the author of The Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn. Visit the Jennifer Egan's official website: www.jenniferegan.com
 
Published October 3, 2017 by Scribner. 449 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 22 2017
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Manhattan Beach
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Tasha Robinson on Oct 05 2017

Manhattan Beach is more linear than Goon Squad or The Keep. But it has the same knack for drawing readers into the characters' minute and painful complications, and the same habit of treating time both as a narrative playground and as a looming hazard.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Sep 26 2017

Manhattan Beach isn't flawless. Especially at the beginning...But to focus on scattered imperfections would be like focusing on the litter of New York City streets while ignoring the wonder of the city itself.

Read Full Review of Manhattan Beach: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Ellen Akins on Sep 29 2017

...that artifice and experience invariably merge, and we witness the full reach of Egan’s writing. “The strange, violent, beautiful sea. … It touched every part of the world, a glittering curtain drawn over a mystery.”

Read Full Review of Manhattan Beach: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Oct 18 2017

At its heart, “Manhattan Beach” is a story about love. About its resilience and its long memory. About the joys and fears that come with it. About the pride and the shame. It is a story that captures beautifully not just a time and a place, but a state of mind unique to a brief period in American history. Easily one of the best books of the year.

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