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

More

This bookshop prints your novel in the time it takes to drink a coffee

Paris's iconic Librairie des Puf is revolutionising how we buy books by Moya Crockett

15 Jun 2016

Kathy Lette: “Emily Brontë taught me what I really wanted in bed”

“After years of loveless sex, Wuthering Heights opened my eyes to true romance”

14 Jun 2016

Lucy Mangan explores our enduring love of Roald Dahl

“Once upon a time…” by Lucy Mangan

13 Jun 2016

Illustrator imagines what The Baby-Sitters Club crew are up to now

Introducing The Jaded Quitters Club by Helen Brown

13 Jun 2016

Spending 20 minutes with this app could boost your career

Hack your commute by Helen Brown

10 Jun 2016

Stylist meets Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Lisa McInerney

On women-only prizes, being selfish and writing advice

09 Jun 2016

Stylist’s bets for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

Place your bets now by The Stylist web team

07 Jun 2016

JK Rowling hits back at "racists” unhappy with casting of Hermione

“Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm” by Sarah Biddlecombe

06 Jun 2016

Jojo Moyes on the portrayal of disability in Me Before You

Author tackles controversy by Harriet Hall

02 Jun 2016

The most captivating new reads of June

From tales of lifelong friendship to families torn apart by Cathy Rentzenbrink

02 Jun 2016