From one of the most dazzling and iconic writers of our time, Jennifer Egan comes an electrifying, deeply moving novel about the quest for authenticity, privacy, and meaning in a world where our memories are no longer our own.
About the Book:
It’s 2010. Staggeringly successful and brilliant tech entrepreneur Bix Bouton is desperate for a new idea. He’s forty, with four kids, and restless when he stumbles into a conversation with mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalizing” memory.
Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, Own Your Unconscious–which allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others–has seduced multitudes. But not everyone. In spellbinding linked narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of Own Your Unconscious through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of styles–from omniscient to first-person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter, and a chapter of tweets.
In the world of Egan’s spectacular imagination, there are “counters” who track and exploit desires and there are “eluders,” those who understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House.
Intellectually dazzling and extraordinarily moving, The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that is moments away. With a focus on social media, gaming, and alternate worlds, you can almost experience moving among dimensions in a role-playing game.
Egan takes her “deeply intuitive forays into the darker aspects of our technology-driven, image-saturated culture” (Vogue) to stunning new heights and delivers a fierce and exhilarating testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for real connection, love, family, privacy and redemption.
About the Author:
Jennifer Egan was born in Chicago, where her paternal grandfather was a police commander and bodyguard for President Truman during his visits to that city. She was raised in San Francisco and studied at the University of Pennsylvania and St. John’s College, Cambridge, in England.
During those student years, she did a lot of traveling, often with a backpack: China, the former USSR, Japan, and much of Europe, and those travels became the basis for her first novel, The Invisible Circus, and her story collection, Emerald City.
She came to New York in 1987 and worked an array of wacky jobs while learning to write: catering at the World Trade Center; joining the word processing pool at a midtown law firm; serving as the private secretary for the Countess of Romanones, an OSS spy-turned-Spanish countess (by marriage), who wrote a series of bestsellers about her spying experiences and famous friends.
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Egan has published short stories in many magazines, including The New Yorker, Harpers, Granta, and McSweeney’s. Her first novel, The Invisible Circus, came out in 1995 and was released as a movie starring Cameron Diaz in 2001. Her second novel, Look at Me, was a National Book Award Finalist in 2001, and her third, The Keep, was a national bestseller. Also a journalist, Egan has written many cover stories for the New York Times Magazine on topics ranging from young fashion models to the secret online lives of closeted gay teens.
Her 2002 cover story on homeless children received the Carroll Kowal Journalism Award, and her 2008 story on bipolar children won an Outstanding Media Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.