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Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan

13 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

The long-awaited novel from the bestselling author of Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit From the Goon Squad.

The long-awaited novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.

Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have been murdered.

Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organized crime, the merchant marine and the clash of classes in New York, Egan's first historical novel is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America and the world. Manhattan Beach is a magnificent novel by one of the greatest writers of our time.

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Praise for Manhattan Beach

  • Egan's precise, calm underwater prose is a persistent pleasure - Daily Telegraph

  • A stunningly resourceful writer - Guardian

  • Splendid . . .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

  • One of the most dazzling novelists writing today . . . It is simply stunning; thrilling, heartbreaking and unputdownable. 'Book of the Month'. - The Bookseller

  • Though the prose is exquisite, Egan never lets it get in the way of the story. In bouts of glamour, adventure and violence, she gives the narrative a cinematic feel - Time Australia

  • The book is a true romp, and includes a section about survival at sea that would make many muchvaunted 20th-century American writers envious. It's a sprawling novel powered by chance; a historical novel rendered beautifully. - The Saturday Paper

  • Haunting . . . Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do - Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

  • This is her richest and most rewarding novel yet, a thoughtful page-turner with indelible characters. - The Monthly

  • A stunningly resourceful writer - Guardian

  • Egan's precise, calm underwater prose is a persistent pleasure - Daily Telegraph

  • Splendid . . . 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, Pulitzer Prize winner Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel. It shouldn't really be surprising, since even Egan's most experimental work has been rich in characters and firmly grounded in sharp observation of the society around them. Here, she brings those qualities to a portrait of New York City during the Depression and World War II... haunting ... Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do. - Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

  • One of the most dazzling novelists writing today . . . It is simply stunning; thrilling, heartbreaking and unputdownable. Book of the Month. - Bookseller

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Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the author of A Visit From The Goon Squad, 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 non-fiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.