Greenwich Library is pleased to welcome award-winning author Jennifer Egan to its AuthorsLive series. Egan will discuss her sixth novel, The Candy House, on Wednesday, March 8, at 7:00 p.m., at Greenwich Library’s Berkley Theater.
The Candy House follows the staggeringly brilliant Bix Bouton, whose social media company is so universal that he’s “one of those tech demi-gods with whom we’re all on a first name basis.” Bix is 40, restless, and desperate for a new idea, so when he stumbles upon a group of Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalizing” memory, he sees his future. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, “Own Your Unconscious”—which allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share your memories in exchange for access to the memories of others—has seduced multitudes.
The book is a companion novel of sorts to Egan’s 2010 work A Visit from the Goon Squad, as Bix and a few other characters were briefly introduced in its collection of time- and narrative-shifting chapters. “I knew in Goon Squad that Bix would invent social media,” Egan told Publisher’s Weekly last year of the character who would become the lead protagonist in The Candy House. “When I know something the reader doesn’t know, I know there’s a future story.”
In this new utopian/dystopia world Bix has facilitated, there are “counters” who track and exploit desires and there are “eluders” who understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House. Similar to Goon Squad’s structure, Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of narrative styles, from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter, and a chapter of tweets. In its review, the New York Times called Candy House “minimalist maximalism … as if Egan compressed a big 19th-century triple-decker novel onto a flash drive.”
Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her 2017 novel, Manhattan Beach, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and was chosen as New York City’s One Book One New York read. Her previous novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize, and was named one of the best books of the decade by Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine, and she recently completed a term as President of PEN America. Her new novel, The Candy House, a sibling to A Visit From the Goon Squad, was published in April, 2022, and was recently named one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2022, as well as one of President Obama’s favorite reads of 2022.
Egan will be joined in conversation by Barbara Hoffert of Library Journal.
AuthorsLive at Greenwich Library is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions from generous individual donors. All events are open to all at no charge. Registration via the Library’s online calendar is required starting February 8. Livestream registration is available here.Books will be available for purchase and signing through Diane’s Books.