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Getting Gooned

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by Dan Manzanares

I’ve read two Egan novels. A Visit from the Goon Squad and The Keep. Besides my immediate and lasting impressions of the plots, characters, and themes of these books, the biggest idea I came away with is that Egan takes risks. Big time risks. She doesn’t f*ck around. She’s not bringing some noodle-arm quail-boy narrative for the weak-willed reader to casual sip at ‘just like so’. Egan brings it. It. You know what I mean. The pain. The intelligence. The sunlight and gore you want breaking through your sentences, Melvillian-like, into future generations of humans. In Goon she writes an entire chapter in slides. In Keep she makes a move from 3rd to 1st person that pulled my eyes so close to the page that a moment of magic occurred. That one was new and I liked it. My point? Read her. If not Egan, find the author who risks the way you should be risking when you write and read her. Then? Reread. Only when I’m pushed up against it do I learn. Only when I’m in danger do I innovate to survive. Only when I read dangerously do I find the courage to write. So do that, then find me so we can talk. I’ll be with Jennifer Egan on Thursday, October 24, from 5 to 8 PM, at L2Arts.

2 comments on “Getting Gooned

  1. alteredchemistry
    October 15, 2013

    I read the same two books in preparation for the upcoming visit by Egan. Her approaches are so different in the two works, but both possess some of the same underlying themes. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say, to listen to her answers, what a great opportunity to peek into the mind behind the curtain.

    • danmanzan
      October 16, 2013

      “..a great opportunity to peek into the mind behind the curtain.” I’m right there with you. I love listening to authors speak about the creative process, what inspires them, their fears. I’d bet Egan has some interesting rituals.

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2013 by in The Scoop and tagged , , , .

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