The Invisible Circus
By Jennifer Egan
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307387523, 352pp.)
Publication Date: October 9, 2007
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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.
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 three novels, The Invisible Circus, Look at Me, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Keep, as well as a collection of stories, Emerald City. She has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper's, Zoetrope and Ploughshares, among others, and her journalism appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was recently a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and sons.
“Mesmerizing. . . . Told with great assurance and power. . . . Egan portrays the sisters with a quiet, heartbreaking clarity.” —The New York Times Book Review“Wonderful. . . . Words glide through her fingers and enter the pores like cool San Francisco fog.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review“Brilliant in its authenticity and overwhelming passion.” —The Boston Globe“A trip that takes the reader through stunning emotional terrain.” —The New Yorker