The Brooklyn Navy Yard Meets the Great American Novel in "Manhattan Beach"

Oct 17, 2017

On this edition of ST, we chat with the New York-based author and journalist Jennifer Egan, whose newest novel, the much-praised "Manhattan Beach," is just out. As was noted of this book in a starred review in Kirkus: "After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways...Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel. Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do." And further, per Dwight Garner in The New York Times: "Immensely satisfying.... ['Manhattan Beach'] is a dreadnought of a World War II-era historical novel, bristling with armaments yet intimate in tone. It's an old-fashioned page-turner, tweaked by this witty and sophisticated writer so that you sometimes feel she has retrofitted sleek new engines inside a craft owned for too long by James Jones and Herman Wouk.... She is masterly at displaying mastery.... [Her] fiction buzzes with factual crosscurrents, casually deployed.... Egan works a formidable kind of magic.... This is a big novel that moves with agility."