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04.01.11

Jennifer Egan's Advice to Writers

The acclaimed author of A Visit from the Goon Squad talks about her career and offers some encouragement and advice to young writers.

The acclaimed author of A Visit from the Goon Squad talks about her career and offers some encouragement to young writers. 

Not long ago, we sat down with Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit From the Goon Squad, to talk about Manhattan’s East River Park. We were shooting a video about artists and their favorite places in the city, but during the interview, Egan talked about her life as a struggling writer in the East Village of the late '80s and early '90s, and offered some advice to writers starting out.

That footage couldn’t be used in the main video, but with her permission, we offer the best of those bits here.

Beast Bite: On Ignoring "Best Of" Lists

If a New York-based magazine has listed the city's best authors and you weren't on it, Jennifer Egan is sympathetic. Here she offers a little common sense advice.

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Beast Bite: Writing in the Shadow of Jay McInerney and Tama Janowitz

Egan talks about the era when glamour and literary fiction briefly overlapped in New York City—the early to mid-1980s, the time of Bright Lights, Big City and Slaves of New York—and how important it was to keep her ambitions modest.

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Jennifer Egan’s New York: East River Park on the Lower East Side

Not many people in 1992 would have considered a run across Sixth Street in the East Village to the East River Park, then down to southern tip of Manhattan and back, something to relax the soul. Jennifer Egan did. In this interview for the series “My New York,” Egan talks about the destroyed beauty of the landscape, and how it factors into A Visit From the Goon Squad.

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