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Manhattan Beach (Hardcover)
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I was curious to see what Jennifer Egan’s latest would be like, because she tends to approach the novel in creative and nontraditional ways. Suffice it to say, once I read it, I was surprised by how traditional it was. But don’t let the word “traditional” get you down! I was absolutely riveted by this book from start to finish. It traces the story of Anna Kerrigan, who becomes a diver at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and the parallel narrative of a gangster, Dexter Styles. Looming over the whole novel is the disappearance of Anna’s father, an event that has haunted Anna since she was twelve years old, and ends up connecting the novel’s plot threads in unexpected ways. The writing is cinematic and reminiscent of noir, pulsing with the energy of New York City in the 1940s. Quite possibly my favorite novel of fall 2017.— From Margaret's Picks
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NEW YORK'S "ONE BOOK, ONE NEW YORK" PICK Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction The daring and magnificent novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, Esquire, Vogue, The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA TODAY, Time - A New York Times Notable Book Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have vanished. With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan's first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world. It is a magnificent novel by the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, one of the great writers of our time.