Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Stylist tweet-meets Jennifer Egan

Jennifer-Egan.jpg

She won last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with her novel A Visit From The Goon Squad and now author Jennifer Egan has taken the digital publishing revolution firmly in her hand (well, her thumb and index finger) by publishing a short story entirely on Twitter. A world first, Black Box was serialised in 140-character instalments over 10 nights by The New Yorker. Stylist took to Twitter to interview her…

Where did the idea for a serialised book, built on Twitter come from?

Curiosity about what sort of story might require telling in such short bursts, and a narrator who could make them mysterious and compelling.

How long has it taken you to craft each bitesize element into 140 character chunks?

Keeping the segments short was inherent to the voice, and came naturally. Reducing the *overall* length was the real challenge

Are you trying to bring back the era of the serialised novel?

The more deeply fiction is intertwined with our daily lives, the more urgently it matters, and communal reading is profoundly fun

ABOVE: Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize-winning book

Are there any authors (past or present) who you wish had their own Twitter accounts?

The epic poets would have had a heyday. Spenser, Byron – hell, why not Homer? Since I’m a terrible poet, I had to resort to fiction.

You won the Pulitzer for A Visit From The Goon Squad. How did it feel to receive that kind of recognition?

Very, very lucky. I dread a correction in the form of a block of concrete falling from the sky!

What are the best and worst things about being a novelist?

Best: no boss; get paid to live in a fantasyland; total control; lots of time with my kids. Worst: my fault alone if it stinks!

Go to newyorker.com to read Black Box. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @Egangoonsquad

Related

twitterdiarieshero.jpg

The Twitter Diaries

rexfeatures_954055h.jpg

Twitter is an addiction

shakespeare.jpg

Shakespeare in food tweets

Comments

Latest...

The best new books of September

From family dramas to dark page turners

01 Sep 2015

Treasure trove of unseen celebrity Polaroids in new Warhol book

Before Instagram, there was Andy Warhol

20 Aug 2015

Stylist’s ten best reads for the bank holiday weekend

The hottest books to end off the summer with

20 Aug 2015

How our Penguin classics cover was created

We're having our book-shaped ice lolly and eating it, some might say

19 Aug 2015

J.K. Rowling offers inspiring advice to young writers

“Turn their laughter into fuel”

17 Aug 2015

Behold the best new books of August

From psychological thrillers to literary comfort food

17 Aug 2015

2015’s word-of-mouth breakout book

Why you need to read Luckiest Girl Alive

13 Aug 2015

The seven golden rules of setting up a book club

Sate your literary appetite

13 Aug 2015

Dating for book lovers: women drawn to thriller readers

How taste in books fuels sexual chemistry

12 Aug 2015

Stylist's Top 100 Holiday Reads

07 Aug 2015