Jennifer Egan's Picks: Literary DNA


  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

    By David Foster Wallace

    Our Price: $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780316925280
    • Publisher: Back Bay Books
    • Published: February 1997
    One of the most gifted writers of his, or any generation, David Foster Wallace took his life in September, 2008. This volume of essays, published in 1997, collects seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner. These works demonstrate the extent to which the author brought the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility to his work in both fiction and nonfiction. 353p.
  • Don Juan

    By George Gordon Lord Byron

    Our Price: $21.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780140424522
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: March 2005
    Byron’s exuberant parody involves the adventures of a youth named Don Juan. His exploits include an adulterous liaison in Spain, an affair on a Greek island with a pirate’s daughter, a masquerade in a sultan’s harem, a bloody battle in Turkey and a sojourn in Russia as the lover of Catherine the Great – all described by a narrator who frequently digresses from his hero in order to converse with his readers about war, society and convention. A revolutionary experiment in epic, DON JUAN blends high drama with earthy humor, outrageous satire of Byron’s contemporaries (in particular Wordsworth and Southey) and mockery of Western culture, with England under particular assault. Notes. 760p.
  • Emma (Collins Classics)

    Our Price: $3.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780007350780
    • Publisher: HarperPress
    • Published: April 2010
    Beautiful, rich, self-assurred and witty, Emma Woodhouse delights in match-making those around her, with no apparent care for her own love life. Taking young Harriet Smith under her wing, Emma sets her sights on finding a suitable match for her friend. Chided for her mistakes by old friend Mr. Knightley, it is only when Harriet starts to pursue her own love interests that Emma realizes the true hidden depth of her own heart. 498p.
  • Germinal

    By Emile Zola

    Our Price: $11.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780140447422
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: May 2004
    Penguin Classics. Etienne Lantier, an unemployed railway worker, is a clever but uneducated young man with a dangerous temper. Compelled to take a back-breaking job at Le Voreux mine when he cannot get after work, he discovers that his fellow-miners are ill, hungry and in debt, unable to feed and clothe their families. When conditions in the mining community deteriorate even further, Lantier finds himself leading a strike that could mean starvation or salvation for all. The thirteenth novel in Zola’s great Rougon-Macquart sequence, GERMINAL expresses outrage at the exploitation of the many by the few, while also depicting humanity’s capacity for compassion and hope. With Notes and a Glossary section. 546p.
  • Good Morning, Midnight

    By Jean Rhys

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780393303940
    • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    • Published: December 1999
    Sasha Jensen has return to Paris, the city of both her happiest moments and her most desperate. A friend has rescued her from the room in London where she had been trying to think herself to death. Now her her past lies in wait for herin cafes, bars, and dress shops, coming to life again as vividly for the reader as it does for her, blurring all distinctions between nightmare and reality. However, the past is not all that looms threateningly on Sasha's horizon. 190p.
  • Gravity's Rainbow

    By Thomas Pynchon

    Our Price: $19.80
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780143039945
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: October 2006
    (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition). 'Many narrative threads make up a story that may or may not be about the secret development and deployment of a rocket by the Nazis near the end of World War II. The book's main character, Slothrop, undertakes a quest for the truth about the rockets that leads him on a nightmarish journey of either historic discovery or profound paranoia, depending on his varied interpretations and the reader's.' Organized along the lines of a Poisson's ratio (a metastructure in which a bunch of unrelated fragments come together, for a cohesive arc, then scatter as they descend), this Joycean tour de force was unanimously recommended (but unawarded) the 1974 National Book Award.
  • Invisible Man

    By Ralph Ellison

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679732761
    • Publisher: Vintage International
    • Published: March 1995
    First published in 1952. The nameless protagonist of this nightmare journey across the racial divide discovers unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators. One of the most important novels of the twentieth century. 581p. Pap.
  • Middlemarch

    By George Eliot

    Our Price: $6.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781853262371
    • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions
    • Published: January 1998
    Penetrating analysis of the life an English provincial town set during the time of social unrest prior to the first Reform Bill of 1832. 688p. Pap.
  • Sometimes a Great Notion

    By Ken Kesey

    Our Price: $20.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780143039860
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: August 2006
    Ken Kesey’s second novel (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was the first) is a wild-spirited and hugely powerful tale of an Oregon logging clan. A bitter strike rages in a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers: Henry, the fiercely vital and overpowering patriarch; Hank, the son who has spent his life trying to live up to this father; and Leland, Henry’s bookish younger son, who returns to his family on a mission of vengeance – and finds himself fulfilling it in ways he never imagined. Out of the Stamper family’s rivalries and betrayals Ken Kesey has fashioned a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy. 715p.
  • The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

    By Emily Dickinson

    Our Price: $19.80
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780316184137
    • Publisher: Back Bay Books / Little, Brown and Company
    • Published: January 1976
    This book, a distillation of the three-volume Complete Poems compiled and published in 1955, brings together the original texts of all of her 1,775 poems. A chronological arrangement produces the effect of 'a poetic biography,'presenting the full spectrum of Dickinson's bold experiments, her tragic vision, and her intellectual and emotional explorations. Indexes. 770p.
  • The Golden Notebook

    By Doris Lessing

    Our Price: $16.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780061582486
    • Publisher: Harper Perennial
    • Published: October 2008
    THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOKS is Nobel laureate for literature Doris Lessing’s largely autobiographical work comprising the four notebooks of Anna Wulf. In the one with a black cover, she reviews the African experience of her earlier years; in a red one she records her political life, her disillusionment with communism; in a yellow one she writes a novel in which the heroine relives part of her own experience; and, in a blue one she keeps a personal diary. Finally, in love with an American writer and threatened with insanity, Anna resolves to bring the threads of all four books together in a golden notebook. 635p. .
  • The Heart of the Matter

    By Graham Greene

    Our Price: $15.30
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780142437995
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: September 2004
    Graham Greene’s masterpiece THE HEART OF THE MATTER tells the story of a good man enmeshed in love, intrigue, and evil in a West African coastal town. Scobie is bound by strict integrity to his role as assistant police commissioner and by severe responsibility to his wife, Louise, for whom he cares with a fatal pity. When Scobie falls in love with the young widow Helen, he finds vital passion again yielding to pity, integrity giving way to deceit and dishonor – a vortex leading directly to murder. As Scobie’s world crumbles, his personal crisis makes for a novel that is suspenseful, and, ultimately, tragic. 255p.
  • The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (25th Anniversary Edition)

    By Daniel J. Boorstin

    Our Price: $8.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679741800
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: September 1992
    First published in 1962. Here, Boorstin, in this provocative book, introduced the notion of 'pseudo-events' - events such as press conferences and presidential debates, which are manufactured solely in order to be reported - and the contemporary definition of celebrity as 'a person who is known for his/her 'celebritism.' Since then the author's prophetic vision of an America inundated by its own illusions has become an essential resource for those wanting to distinguish the manifold deceptions of American culture from its few enduring truths. Suggestions for Further Reading, Index. 319p.
  • The Magic Mountain

    By Thomas Mann

    Our Price: $9.50 - $17.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679772873
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: October 1996
    In his novel, The Magic Mountain, Nobel Prize for Literature laureate (1929) Thomas Mann uses a sanatoriuim in the Swiss Alps - a community deveoted exclusively to sickness - as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. To this hermetic yet intrigue-ridden world comes Hans Castorp, a 'perfectly ordinary' young man who arrives for a short visit and ends up staying seven years. Here, Hans will succumb both to the lure of eros and to the intoxication of ideas. One of the most acclaimed novels of twentieth entury literature. 706p.
  • The Odyssey of Homer

    By Homer

    Our Price: $8.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780061244186
    • Publisher: HarperPerennial
    • Published: July 2007
    An eloquent translation of Homer’s epic chronicle of the Greek hero Odysseus and his arduous journey home in the aftermath of the Trojan War. Includes a Glossary. 374p.