Wellesley College gets a visit from Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan at Wellesley College

Jennifer Egan, whose novel “A Visit From The Goon Squad” won the Pulitzer Prize last year, drew an overflow crowd of about 150 people at Wellesley College’s Newhouse Center for Humanities Tuesday afternoon (as you can see from my not-so-good view of the author below). Judging from the gender and age of many of the audience members, Egan’s appeal extended well beyond the Wellesley College student body.

Jennifer Egan at Wellesley College

Egan explained that her best-selling book (“a concept album in literary form”) emerged after she got bogged down trying to write a separate book. She went on to read the first chapter from Goon Squad, then did her best to answer some academic questions from a professor as well as more questions from her fans. Egan told one questioner that if she were to have a band set her book to music, it would be The Who, or some combination of Iggy Pop and David Bowie (her book includes a very rock n’ roll story line). Egan says she doesn’t have a master plan when she sets out to write a novel, relying on her intuition to come up with some of the best parts. She’s hoping to return to that original book she was writing for her next big project.

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