The Invisible Circus

The Invisible Circus

Paperback

By (author) Jennifer Egan

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 338 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 20mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 9 October 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307387526
  • ISBN 13: 9780307387523
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 142,459

Product description

The hope and heartbreak of the Sixties still linger in America's consciousness. In this breathtaking debut, Jennifer Egan brings to life the seductive pull of that era as it exerts itself on two sisters, separated by a decade, who take enormous risks to personify its ideals. It is 1978. Phoebe O'Connor, 18, runs off to Europe seeking answers about the tragedy that has haunted her family for eight years: the sudden dead of her older sister Faith while in Italy. To Phoebe, Faith epitomizes the youthful, chaotic freedom of the Sixties, and imitating her becomes Phoebe's way of trying to elevate herself from a life that seems drab and unsatisfying compared to the vivid spectacle that was Faith's. Once in Europe, Phoebe follows the itinerary Faith spelled out in postcards from her fatal trip, landing in London, living in a hostel in Amsterdam, taking a tab of LSD in Paris. But instead of the millennial excitement that Faith had sensed in 1960s Europe, Phoebe encounters disappointment and ennui. And when Faith's old lover joins Phoebe to retrace those last days in Italy, Phoebe glimpses the human price that her sister paid in following her uncompromising quest for personal liberation. With its coolly graceful prose and mastery of narrative, "The Invisible Circus" is an unforgettable first novel by a writer of uncommon ability.

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Author information

Jennifer Egan was born in Chicago and raised in San Francisco. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and St. John's College, Cambridge. She is the author of three novels, "The Invisible Circus," "Look at Me," which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and "The Keep," as well as a collection of stories, "Emerald City." She has published short fiction in "The New Yorker," "Harper's," "Zoetrope "and "Ploughshares," among others, and her journalism appears frequently in "The New York Times Magazine." She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was recently a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and sons.

Review quote

"If there were justice in this world, no one would be allowed to write a first novel of such beauty and accomplishment."--Pat Conroy "Wonderful...words glide through her fingers and enter the pores like cool San Francisco fog."--Kim Bendheim," Los Angeles Times Book Review" "Mesmerizing...told with great assurance and power...Ms. Egan portrays the sisters with a quiet, heartbreaking clarity."--Alice Truax, "The New York Times Book Review" "Brilliant in its authenticity and overwhelming passion."--Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, "Boston Globe Books"