Meet the author: Jennifer Egan

Wed 18.05.2022
20:00 - 21:30
Jennifer Egan RV copy Pieter M Van Hattem LR


Passa Porta


Book presentation, Interview


€8/6 (€10 supporting united stages)


the preferential rate offers a €2 discount for all who feel like they need it.


in English

Meet the author

The meetings with writers at Passa Porta, prepared with passion, courage and thoroughness, are more than simply the presentation of literary works. We seek to achieve a genuine connection between writer and reader, and among readers themselves.

Go to overview

In 2010, with her innovative novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, American author Jennifer Egan wrote what is pretty much the definitive ode to techno-optimism. This modern classic and Pulitzer Prize winner now has gained a new relative. Don’t call The Candy House a sequel novel, but rather a clever twin. Prior knowledge is not necessary, however, as our faulty memory is one of the themes precisely.

own your unconscious

The year is 2010. The successful but restless entrepreneur Bix Bouton comes into contact with a professor at Columbia University who is experimenting with human memory. Ten years later, Bix’s new tech programme, ‘Own Your Unconscious’, grants you access to all your memories and lets you share them with others. The system seduces many, but not everyone.

Jennifer Egan weaves the far-reaching consequences of the programme through the lives of several characters, whose paths cross several times. In the America of the near future, there are ‘counters’ who track and exploit human desires, and ‘eluders’, who evade the collective consciousness because they understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House.

nostalgia is the true drug

Initial reviews, including in The Guardian, have been unanimous in their praise. The novel is being hailed as a twisted distorting mirror for the data addicts among us. ‘The near-future America Egan conjures is numbed and festering: a country full of opioid dreamers and pill mills. But the most irresistible and dangerous drug of them all – the ultimate brain-rotting candy – is nostalgia, even the sly, ironic kind that powers our dreary cycle of reboots and remakes.’

about the guests

Jennifer Egan (b. 1962) lives in Brooklyn, New York. She won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, among others, for A Visit from the Goon Squad. The author of novels and short stories, her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Granta and McSweeney’s, among others. Her previous novel Manhattan Beach also became an international bestseller.

Annelies Beck (b. 1973) is an author and journalist. She has published two novels and presents the current affairs programme Terzake.

About The Candy House

‘A fast-paced polyvoiced romp thru America in the grip of a sinister tech that allows others into your mind. EEK!’
– Margaret Atwood
‘This is minimalist maximalism. It’s as if Egan compressed a big 19th-century triple-decker novel onto a flash drive … Egan goes all in on the power of storytelling and of fiction.’
– The New York Times

About A Visit from the Goon Squad

‘Egan’s virtuosity has reached new heights. *****’
– de Volkskrant

Org: Passa Porta, De Arbeiderspers, L&M Books

picture © pieter van hattem

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