English Book Club Ciervo Blanco in Madrid:
Book Reading and Discussion in English about the novel A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
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The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. The Pulitzer Prize Board noted that the novel was an «inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed». In commenting on her Pulitzer, NPR critic Jonathan Bastian noted that «Egan is the one of the most recent and successful examples of a trend that has been steadily seeping into the world of contemporary literature.» The unusual format of the novel, taking place across multiple platforms, has led some critics to label the novel «post-postmodern». Many critics were impressed by Egan’s experiments with structure, such as a section formatted like a PowerPoint printout.
Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.
Because of its unusual narrative structure, some critics have characterized the book as a novel and others as a collection of linked short stories. A Visit from the Goon Squad has 13 chapters, all of which can be read as individual stories, and does not focus on any single central character or narrative arc. In addition, many of the chapters were originally published as short stories in magazines such as The New Yorker and Harper’s. In an interview with Salon.com’s Laura Miller, Egan said she leaned toward calling the book a novel rather than a short story collection. She has also said that she considers the book to be neither a story collection or a novel.
Jennifer Egan was born in Chicago and raised in San Francisco. She is the author of The Invisible Circus, a novel which became a feature film starring Cameron Diaz in 2001, Look at Me, a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction in 2001, Emerald City and Other Stories and the bestsellingThe Keep. Her most recent novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the LA Times Book Prize. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harpers, Granta, McSweeney’s and other magazines. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. Her non-fiction articles appear frequently in the New York Times Magazine. Her 2002 cover story on homeless children received the Carroll Kowal Journalism Award, and “The Bipolar Kid” received a 2009 NAMI Outstanding Media Award for Science and Health Reporting from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Literary Gathering: A visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
When: Sunday 03/04/16 at 18:00 pm
Where: Residencia de Estudiantes – C/ Pinar, 21 – Madrid
Language: English (we read and debate in English)
Organizers: Adrián Díaz
Open admission — let us know you’re coming :
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A visit from the Goon Squad