Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Stylist tweet-meets Jennifer Egan


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



The Twitter Diaries


Twitter is an addiction


Shakespeare in food tweets



JK Rowling on the pressure of global success

“I turned this amazing triumph into tragedy” by Harriet Hall

30 Nov 2015

The 20 best snippets of relationship wisdom from children’s books

Wise truisms from our favourite reads

27 Nov 2015

Grab a coffee, write a book: The UK’s most inspiring literary cafes

JK Rowling did it - and so can you by Amy Lewis

25 Nov 2015

Bookshops launch Civilised Saturday as antidote to Black Friday mayhem

A moment of calm among the shopping storm by Sejal Kapadia

25 Nov 2015

Judith Kerr’s new Mog book tops the adult best-seller charts

39 copies are being sold every minute

19 Nov 2015

Mobile library designed to look like a book is every readers' paradise

by Hayley Kadrou

18 Nov 2015

The best new books of November

The hot new books that should be on your buy, beg or borrow list this month

11 Nov 2015

Inside the twisted mind of Gillian Flynn

From identifying with Amy Dunne to writing her new novel

10 Nov 2015

The most highlighted quotes in e-books revealed by Kindle

Did your favourite line make it in? by Amy Swales

09 Nov 2015

The best book written by a female author in the last 10 years revealed

The votes are in. by Sarah Biddlecombe

03 Nov 2015