Author(s): Jennifer Egan
In Jennifer Egan’s highly acclaimed first novel, set in 1978, the political drama and familial tensions of the 1960s form a backdrop for the world of Phoebe O’Connor, age eighteen. Phoebe is obsessed with the memory and death of her sister Faith, a beautiful idealistic hippie who died in Italy in 1970. In order to find out the truth about Faith’s life and death, Phoebe retraces her steps from San Francisco across Europe, a quest which yields both complex and disturbing revelations about family, love, and Faith’s lost generation. This spellbinding novel introduced Egan’s remarkable ability to tie suspense with deeply insightful characters and the nuances of emotion.
The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan is my latest read from this excellent author. This is Egan’s debut novel, recently re-issued on the back of her success with A Visit from the Goon Squad. Phoebe, haunted and obsessed by her sister's death, travels to Europe ten years on retracing her steps. Both tragic and funny this very personal and emotional story is underscored by the political tensions of the 1960s & 70s. Assured and well written, Egan is worth reading – I’ve read her full backlist and enjoyed them all. - Stella
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 four novels, The Invisible Circus, Look at Me, a finalist for the National Book Award, The Keep and the bestselling A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and a short story collection, Emerald City. She has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper's, McSweeney's and Ploughshares, among others, and her journalism appears frequently in the New York Times Magazine.