Harvard Book Store presents Jennifer Egan
Run Time: 105 min.
Harvard Book Store Presents
Jennifer Egan at the Brattle Theatre
The Candy House:
Harvard Book Store welcomes Pulitzer Prize–winning author JENNIFER EGAN for a discussion of her latest, highly anticipated novel, The Candy House.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to re-introduce in-person programming this season, beginning this March. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Brattle Theatre events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the venue. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth. At venues where refreshments are served, attendees may briefly unmask when actively eating or drinking.
- Proof of vaccination is required for entry into the venue. No exceptions. (Harvard Book Store staff will be checking vaccine cards and/or vaccine passports at the door.)
- Attendance is capped so as to allow for some social distancing in the venue.
For the time being, we will not be holding author signings at these events, in order to limit close contact. When possible, we will have a pre-signed books available for purchase on-site.
There are two ticket options available for this event.
Book-Included Ticket: Includes admission for one and one copy of The Candy House.
Admission-Only Ticket: Includes admission for one.
About The Candy House
The Candy House opens with the staggeringly brilliant Bix Bouton, whose company, Mandala, is so successful that he is “one of those tech demi-gods with whom we’re all on a first name basis.” Bix is 40, with four kids, restless, desperate for a new idea, when he stumbles into a conversation group, mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalizing” memory. It’s 2010. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, “Own Your Unconscious”—that allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others—has seduced multitudes. But not everyone.
In spellbinding interlocking narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of Own Your Unconscious through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Intellectually dazzling, The Candy House is also extraordinarily moving, a testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for real connection, love, family, privacy and redemption. In the world of Egan’s spectacular imagination, there are “counters” who track and exploit desires and there are “eluders,” those who understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House. Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of narrative styles—from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter and a chapter of tweets.
If Goon Squad was organized like a concept album, The Candy House incorporates Electronic Dance Music’s more disjunctive approach. The parts are titled: Build, Break, Drop. With an emphasis on gaming, portals, and alternate worlds, its structure also suggests the experience of moving among dimensions in a role-playing game.
The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that is moments away. Egan takes to stunning new heights her “deeply intuitive forays into the darker aspects of our technology-driven, image-saturated culture” (Vogue). The Candy House delivers an absolutely extraordinary combination of fierce, exhilarating intelligence and heart.
Praise for The Candy House
“I’m pretty sure there’s nothing Jennifer Egan can’t do, so a follow-up to her influential Pulitzer Prize–winning 2010 novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad? Hell, yes. Egan being Egan, this is not a traditional sequel, of course—she calls it a “sibling novel”—but it promises to revisit some peripheral characters from the earlier novel and expand upon their stories with a scope and emotional wallop equal to its predecessor.” —Tom Beer, Kirkus
“[The Candy House] is a novel that resists form, incorporating tweets and emails from the future in a series of interconnected stories that show the promise of endless intersubjectivity and the perils of finding missed connections. As we continue to make sense of the fractured attachments that social media makes possible in our own world, Egan imagines a present and a future that push us to interrogate what such a collective mind-meld will mean.” —Vulture
“A complex, compelling read that showcases Egan’s masterful storytelling.” —Time
Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her 2017 novel, Manhattan Beach, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and was chosen as New York City’s One Book One New York read. Her previous novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize, and was recently named one of the best books of the decade by Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and several others. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine. She recently completed a term as President of PEN America.
Photo Credit: Pieter M. van Hattem