Roos van Rijswijk
Thursday 19 May
20.00 - 21.00
Pieter M. Van Hattem
Jennifer Egan (1962) lives in Brooklyn, New York She is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her previous novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won many literary prizes, most notable the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was recently named one of the best books of the decade by Time Magazine and several others.
Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times, The New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine. Her new novel is The Candy House, a sibling to A Visit From the Goon Squad.
About The Candy House
The Candy House opens with the staggeringly brilliant Bix Bouton, whose company, Mandala, is so successful that he is “one of those tech demi-gods with whom we’re all on a first name basis.” Bix is 40, with four kids, restless, desperate for a new idea, when he stumbles into a conversation group, mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalizing” memory. It’s 2010. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, “Own Your Unconscious”—that 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 interlocking narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of Own Your Unconscious through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Intellectually dazzling, The Candy House is also extraordinarily moving, a testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for real connection, love, family, privacy and redemption. 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. Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of narrative styles—from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter and a chapter of tweets.