Alright, so this is the second post of what will become a monthly thing, based off my goal to read more Pulitzer Prize books, which you can read about here.
I read the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction category, A Visit From The Goon Squad, only because I had fallen madly, sickeningly in love with The Invisible Circus when I read it in middle school. Jennifer Egan had a way of using her pen to reach into my childish, little-sister heart and speaking to it. A lot of authors have written powerful novels that make me feel not alone, and she is definitely one of them. When I saw she had written a new novel, I snapped it up without hesitation. In the land of hipster cred, I read it before it won the Pulitzer.
There are way too many avenues I can write on for Goon Squad, and as such it makes me feel indecisive. Where do I start? I’ll start with the end–it’s my favorite part. I won’t spoil any part of the novel, but there’s a part where Egan jumps to the near future. Like, the future my kids will be living in when they’re ten or twelve, which was a way interesting teaser trailer of the future. One of the characters, a little girl, keeps her journal in powerpoint format and that Egan pulled it off makes me think she’s a genius. It’s the little things, I guess.
I almost feel too much of a fan girl to write a decent review, because my perceptions of this book are flavored with the hue of middle school crushes. Her writing has a strong voice, yes, but also a familiar voice. When critics give her the hollow expression of being a voice for her generation, it shockingly enough fits. Her voice is similar in cadence to Franzen and Safran Foer, although distinguishable in her own right.
I read her for the first time in middle school, and even though it was a book about the post-sixties, and a book about not experiencing the sixties, it spoke to me where I was in my life (the little sister to a inherently cool big sister). Reading her again in early college, I wasn’t disappointed. While I’ve changed a lot since middle school (thank the maker, amiright), so had Egan. Her new novel spoke to where I was in life–growing up, curious about what the rest of it looks like, curious about how all the jigsaw pieces I’ve collected from my childhood could possible fit into the puzzle of adulthood.
Summation: Egan does not disappoint & ages well.