Jennifer Egan: Biography

Jennifer Egan

07 sep 1962

Jennifer Egan is an American novelist who was born in Chicago in 1962 but her family moved to San Francisco when she was very young. Jennifer attended the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English Literature. Whilst studying towards her degree, Egan was in a relationship with computing pioneer Steve Jobs. She later attended Cambridge University for two years supported financially by a Thouron Award.

In 2011, Egan was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her novel A Visit from the Goon Squad. It is treated as a novel by most bookshops and libraries, although Egan herself has not pinned the book down as either a novel or a collection of short stories. All of the characters’ stories are intertwined, but there is no single protagonist. Egan has said that she was intending to create a ‘lateral feeling’ and to do something different. The book is well known for having an entire chapter which is told through a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, with no prose at all, the only text being that featured on the slides. This innovation is what won her the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Jennifer Egan has also written 3 other novels; The invisible Circus, Look at Me and The Keep. In 2001, The Invisible Circus was made into a film starring Cameron Diaz. Egan now lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and continues to write novels and short stories. She is also a journalist and frequently has columns and articles published in The New York Times Magazine.