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Emerald city - Jennifer Egan

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Emerald city - the collected works of Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

'In the ninth grade I was a great admirer of Jesus Christ. He was everywhere at Sacred Heart: perched over doorways and in corners, peering from calendars and felt wall hangings. I liked his woeful eyebrows and the way his thin, delicate legs crossed at the ankles. The stained-glass windows on our chapel looked like piles of wet candy to me, and from the organ came sounds which seemed to rise from another world, a world of ecstasy and violence. I longed to visit that place, wherever it was, and when they told us to pray for our families I secretly prayed for the chance.'

Here is a collection of eleven compelling fictions concerned with the power of imagination - to lift us above our ordinary lives but also to seduce us with images of a glittering, elusive perfection we cannot touch. In settings ranging from Mexico to Tokyo, Egan dramatizes individuals struggling to define what is truly their own amidst the whirl of longing and nostalgia characteristic of our times.

'Jennifer Egan understands, with a startling maturity, the essential requirements of short-story writing: economy - and because of this necessary brevity, a heightened vividness of metaphor - immediacy, atmosphere, the swift creation of a certain kind of mood. Egan writes in present-day prose: clear, demotic, succinct and potentially shocking. Here are no old-fashioned stereotypes, yet Egan deals with familiar things, bringing in each case a startling originality to a recognizable scenario' Ruth Rendell

'Jennifer Egan's stories portray a world of frightening vulnerability. Whether the setting is familiar or exotic, her characters are emotional seismographs, but her subtlety of the cracks of their lives has a curiously calming beauty, suggesting that pain need not always be permanently disabling. Egan is an elegant, original writer' Alexander Stuart, author of The War Zone

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Jennifer Egan is the author of The Invisible Circus, Look At Me and the short-story collection Emerald City. Her short stories have been published in the New Yorker, Harper's, and GQ , among others, and her nonfiction appears frequently in the New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn.

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