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Look at Me

Look at Me

Paperback Corsair

By (author) Jennifer Egan

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  • Publisher: Corsair
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 192mm x 34mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 15 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1780330995
  • ISBN 13: 9781780330990
  • Sales rank: 30,620

Product description

Reconstructive facial surgery after a car crash so alters Manhattan model Charlotte that, within the fashion world, where one's look is oneself, she is unrecognizable. Seeking a new image, Charlotte engages in an Internet experiment that may both save and damn her. As her story eerily converges with that of a plain, unhappy teenager - another Charlotte - it raises tantalizing questions about identity and reality in contemporary Western culture. Jennifer Egan's bold, innovative novel, demonstrating her virtuosity at weaving a spellbinding, ambitious tale with language that dazzles, captures the spirit of our times and offers an unsettling glimpse of the future.

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Author information

Jennifer Egan is the author of the critically acclaimed A Visit from the Goon Squad, The Keep, The Invisible Circus, and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.

Review quote

...a comic, richly imagined, and stunningly written exploration of the American obsession with self-invention. New Yorker Brilliantly unnerving... A haunting, sharp, splendidly articulate novel. The New York Times Egan limns the mysteries of human identity and the stranglehold our image-obsessed culture has on us all in this complicated and wildly ambitious novel. Newsweek Ambitious, swiftly paced... Egan writes with such shimmering elan that it?s easy to follow her cast on its journey. The Wall Street Journal Dark, hugely ambitious... As riveting as a roadside wreck and noxiously, scathingly funny. Elle Egan's ability to move with ease between sincerity and satire sets Look at Me apart... Her authentic-feeling details give a sense of unusual immediacy. Vogue Prescient and provocative... The characters ... jump from the pages and dare you to care about them... The prose is crisp and precise... The pieces fit together at the end with a satisfying click. Philadelphia Inquirer Enjoyable and promising. Financial Times After the success of Egan's 2011 Pulitzer-winning A Visit From The Goon Squad, this satire of identity and fame in modern culture is another wildly inventive and meticulously crafted piece of brilliance. Stylist Sharp, clever, complex... I can't do this 514-page novel justice in 242 words. It's funny and serious, dry, sly and wry. The writing is as pin-sharp as the perceptions. Read it. Independent on Sunday A prescient, pre-9/11 study of a society drowning in contrivances. The Pulse

Flap copy

At the start of this edgy and ambitiously multilayered novel, a fashion model named Charlotte Swenson emerges from a car accident in her Illinois hometown with her face so badly shattered that it takes eighty titanium screws to reassemble it. She returns to New York still beautiful but oddly unrecognizable, a virtual stranger in the world she once effortlessly occupied. With the surreal authority of a David Lynch, Jennifer Egan threads Charlotte's narrative with those of other casualties of our infatuation with the image. There's a deceptively plain teenaged girl embarking on a dangerous secret life, an alcoholic private eye, and an enigmatic stranger who changes names and accents as he prepares an apocalyptic blow against American society. As these narratives inexorably converge, Look at Me becomes a coolly mesmerizing intellectual thriller of identity and imposture.