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Manhattan Beach
Cover of Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach
A Novel
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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.

    "A magnificent achievement, at once a suspenseful noir intrigue and a transporting work of lyrical beauty and emotional heft" (The Boston Globe), "Egan's first foray into historical fiction makes you forget you're reading historical fiction at all" (Elle). Manhattan Beach takes us into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men in a dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.
  • 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.

    "A magnificent achievement, at once a suspenseful noir intrigue and a transporting work of lyrical beauty and emotional heft" (The Boston Globe), "Egan's first foray into historical fiction makes you forget you're reading historical fiction at all" (Elle). Manhattan Beach takes us into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men in a dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.
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    About the Author-
    • Jennifer Egan is the author of five previous books of fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Keep; the story collection Emerald City; Look at Me, a National Book Award Finalist; and The Invisible Circus. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Granta, McSweeney's, and The New York Times Magazine.
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from May 8, 2017
      Pulitzer-winner Egan's splendid novel begins in 1934 Brooklyn as Eddie Kerrigan struggles to support his wife and two daughters, one of whom is severely disabled. He finds work as a bagman, ferrying bribes for a corrupt union official. One day he brings his healthy daughter, Anna, to the Manhattan Beach home of Dexter Styles, a nightclub owner with underworld partners. The 11-year-old can't comprehend their business, but she senses that the two men have become "friends." By the time Anna is 19, Eddie has inexplicably vanished and America is in the Second World. Working a dull job inspecting ship parts at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, Anna seizes the opportunity to become the first female civilian diver there. Around the same time, a second encounter with Dexter Styles raises hopes that he can help untangle the mysteries of her father's disappearance. As the stories eddy through time, Egan makes haunting use of shore and water motifs to balance dense period detail and explore the liminal spaces—between strength and weakness, depth and surface, past and future, life and death—through which her protagonists move. More straightforwardly narrated than some of Egan's earlier work, including the celebrated A Visit from the Goon Squad, the novel is tremendously assured and rich, moving from depictions of violence and crime to deep tenderness. The book's emotional power once again demonstrates Egan's extraordinary gifts. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM Partners.

    • Kirkus

      Starred review from July 1, 2017
      After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways (including a short story written in Tweets), Pulitzer Prize winner Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad, 2010, etc.) does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel.It shouldn't really be surprising, since even Egan's most experimental work has been rich in characters and firmly grounded in sharp observation of the society around them. Here, she brings those qualities to a portrait of New York City during the Depression and World War II. We meet 12-year-old Anna Kerrigan accompanying her adored father, Eddie, to the Manhattan Beach home of suave mobster Dexter Styles. Just scraping by "in the dregs of 1934," Eddie is lobbying Styles for a job; he's sick of acting as bagman for a crooked union official, and he badly needs money to buy a wheelchair for his severely disabled younger daughter, Lydia. Having rapidly set up these situations fraught with conflict, Egan flashes forward several years: Anna is 19 and working at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, the sole support of Lydia and their mother since Eddie disappeared five years earlier. Adult Anna is feisty enough to elbow her way into a job as the yard's first female diver and reckless enough, after she runs into him at one of his nightclubs, to fall into a one-night stand with Dexter, who initially doesn't realize whose daughter she is. Disastrous consequences ensue for them both but only after Egan has expertly intertwined three narratives to show us what happened to Eddie while drawing us into Anna's and Dexter's complicated longings and aspirations. The Atlantic and Indian oceans play significant roles in a novel saturated by the sense of water as a vehicle of destiny and a symbol of continuity (epigraph by Melville, naturally). A fatal outcome for one appealing protagonist is balanced by Shakespearean reconciliation and renewal for others in a tender, haunting conclusion. Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do.

      COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      May 1, 2017

      The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad goes historical as she recounts the story of Anna Kerrigan, who was barely adolescent when her father forged a secret agreement with the powerful Dexter Styles that she senses saved her family during the Depression. Later, while working as the first female diver repairing ships at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, she encounters Styles and begins to understand the consequences of her now-vanished father's decision.

      Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from November 27, 2017
      Lind has a lovely, low, breathy voice and the ability to foster the tension, fear, and fearlessness that fill Egan’s finely wrought historical novel. The story is set in the Brooklyn Naval Yard during WWII, where women engage in the urgent work of war while the men are abroad. Actor Lind is captivating from the start as Anna Kerrigan, who, as a brash 11-year old, goes with her father and his boss, Dexter Styles, to Manhattan Beach, where she removes her shoes to feel the icy water on her feet. Anna grows up to fight her way into the very male world of underwater divers, scouring the sea bottom for lost objects, repairing damaged warships, and searching for the remains of her father, who disappeared when she was young and who she comes to suspect is dead. Like Anna, each character has an intimate and complex relation to the sea that can engender birth, healing, and bliss, as well as dread, destruction, and death. Butz handles his narrative sections nicely, creating an especially convincing characterization of Styles, and Piazza imbues a beautiful and terrifying wartime sea scene with all the drama it deserves. The stellar performances of three voice actors make this the type of audiobook that will convert people to the format. A Scribner hardcover.

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    A Novel
    Jennifer Egan
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