Talking Volumes: Jennifer Egan

Minnesota Public Radio's Talking Volumes author series is getting a serious injection of hip this season, focusing on edgy, fictional narratives involving zombie apocalypses (Colson Whitehead's Zone One), the fractured adult lives of former punk rockers (Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad), and 11-year-olds trapped in hell (Chuck Palahniuk's The Damned). Egan kicks off the fall season fresh from winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction on the strength of Goon Squad's (Knopf) time-jumping, multiple-perspective narrative and inking a deal to adapt the beloved book into an HBO series. While her willingness to play with form is what generated the headlines (one chapter, set in the near future, is told in the form of a PowerPoint presentation by a 12-year-old girl), Egan's heady authorial maneuvers never forsake genuine emotion. A Visit from the Goon Squad provides a poignant investigation into what happens when disaffected youth dissolves into adult regret, and will hold particular resonance for those who spent a portion of their young lives channeling their angst via loud and fast guitars. (Photo by Pieter M. Van Hattem Vistalux)
Wed., Sept. 14, 7 p.m., 2011

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