Is Jennifer Egan's book, "A Visit from the Goon
Squad," a novel or is it a series of entangled stories? It's a fair
question because this polyphonic narrative covers a lot of territory
from satire to tragedy told from a wide range of characters' points of
view. And one chapter takes the form of a PowerPoint Presentation. In
this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, Egan talks about her
Pulitzer Prize-winning book, as we explore novel novels.
Experimental novels didn't start with James Joyce,
or even Cervantes. They go back to the beginning of civilization. Jennifer
Egan's new novel is called "A Visit from the Goon Squad,"
and it's received the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award and the
2011 Pulitzer Prize. Jennifer Egan tells Steve Paulson all about her
Steven Moore has written several books on modern
literature. His latest is a massive treatment called "The Novel:
An Alternative History, Beginnings to 1600." Moore tells Steve
Paulson there is a rich history of experimental fiction.
Novelist Christopher Miller's debut novel "Sudden
Noises from Inanimate Objects" has been called "funny, sinister,
and endlessly inventive." He tells Jim Fleming about the novel,
which takes the form of liner notes for a box set by a fictional musician.
Miller is also the author of "The Cardboard Universe: A Guide to
the World of Phoebus K. Dank." Jeff Bursey is a Canadian
author and reviewer whose new book is called "Verbatim: A Novel."
It's set in a fictional province and presented in the form of the "Hansard,"
(sort of the Canadian equivalent of the Congressional Record.)
CD copies are available at
1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 11-06-12-A.
- -- Music heard during Jennifer
-- "Closing Time"/Semisonic
from the CD, "Feeling Strangely Fine" (Geffen Records)
- -- Music heard after Jennifer Egan interview:
-- "Pick Up the Pieces"/AWB
from the CD, "Rock Instrumental Classics, Volume 3: The Seventies"
- -- Music heard after Steven Moore interview:
-- "So Now Then"/Jon Brion
from the CD, "Magnolia: Original Motion Picture Score" (Reprise
- -- Music heard during Christopher Miller interview:
-- "Imaginary Landscape"/John Cage
from the CD, "Forbidden Planets: Music from the Pioneers of Electronic
Sound" (Chrome Dreams)
-- "Kinderszenen, Opus 15: 1. Von Fremden Landern Und Menschen"/Vladimir
Horowitz from the CD, "Schumann: Kinderszenen & Kreisleriana"
-- "Etudes Australes, First Part, Volume 1, Etude II/Claudio Crismani
from the CD, "John Cage: Etudes australes" (Realsound)
- -- Music heard after Christopher Miller interview:
-- "Liquid Spear Waltz"/Michael Andrews
from the CD, "Donnie Darko: Music from the Original Motion Picture
Score" (Enjoy Records)
- -- Music heard after Jeff Bursey interview:
-- "The Artifact & Living"/Michael Andrews from the CD,
"Donnie Darko: Music from the Original Motion Picture Score"
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