Jennifer Egan: Manhattan Beach

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Jennifer Egan discusses the first three chapters of her novel Manhattan Beach and shows how even her opening pages pile secret upon secret to create a domesticated urban wartime narrative full of surprises and complex modes of disclosure. First, protagonist Anna Kerrigan's father teaches her to keep secrets, later she learns about the secrets he kept. This novel with its creamy prose uses concealment like a Russian nesting doll mechanism. Without spoilers, we observe Egan's intricacy in action.

Photo by Christopher Ho