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Writers on a New England Stage to Feature Pulitzer Prize Winner Jennifer Egan

Writers on a New England Stage to Feature Pulitzer Prize Winner Jennifer Egan

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan returns to The Music Hall as part of the Writers on a New England Stage series Tuesday, June 26, to talk about her New York Times bestseller, MANHATTAN BEACH, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, now available in paperback.

The 7pm event includes an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with Peter Biello, host of New Hampshire Public Radio's "All Things Considered." It will be held at The Music Hall's Historic Theater at 28 Chestnut Street, in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

"Jennifer Egan last stopped at The Music Hall after winning the Pulitzer Prize for A Visit from the Goon Squad in 2011. She returns with her latest book, MANHATTAN BEACH, which is also remarkable. Set during World War II, it tells the story of a young woman doing what was considered a man's job at the time: diving in the Brooklyn Naval Yard. The book's language is beautiful, but what I love most is the excitement-here we have gangsters, family secrets, romance, and underwater scenes so vivid with detail, it feels as though you're diving with Anna. I am so happy to have this extraordinary American writer here at The Music Hall again," said Patricia Lynch, The Music Hall's Executive Director.


Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, and the reasons he might have vanished.

MANHATTAN BEACH delves into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men, and the result is a deft, dazzling exploration of a transformative moment in American history.


Jennifer Egan is the author of five previous books of fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Keep; the story collection Emerald City; Look at Me, a National Book Award Finalist; and The Invisible Circus. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Granta, McSweeney's, and The New York Times Magazine.


Tickets for Writers on a New England Stage: Jennifer Egan on Tuesday, June 26, at 7:00pm are $13.75 ($11.75 for members). To secure a signed copy of MANHATTAN BEACH, purchase a book voucher in advance ($17, paperback). Tickets can be purchased online at, over the phone at 603.436.2400, or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street. All tickets are general admission/unassigned, so arrive early to get the best seats!

About Writers on a New England Stage

This award-winning author series, launched in 2005, has presented such celebrated authors as Dan Brown, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, USSC Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Judy Blume, Tom Brokaw, Jodi Picoult, and David McCullough; all on stage at The Music Hall's historic theater in downtown Portsmouth, NH. Each literary evening features an author presentation followed by an onstage interview with Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio's "Word of Mouth." Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught. Shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio.

Writers on a New England Stage is a partnership Between The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio

Presenting Sponsors: The University of New Hampshire; Kennebunk Savings

Series Sponsor: Piscataqua Landscaping & Tree Service

Media Sponsor: Yankee Magazine

Season Sponsors: Carey & Giampa, Realtors; Portwalk Place; the River House restaurant

Contributing Partner: University of New Hampshire

Photo by Pieter M. Van Hattem

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