Jennifer Egan Tells Young Writers To Ignore “Best Of” Lists

While shooting a video about artists and their favorite places in Manhattan, author of A Visit From The Goon Squad Jennifer Egan offered encouragement to young writers who feel excluded from "best of" lists.

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Throughout the series of clips, Egan also talked about her struggle to keep her ambitions modest while striving to become a professional writer in New York City in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, in a time when being a writer had become a fairly glamorous profession.

Each of these unfortunately brief video clips is definitely worth watching, as Egan offers her perspective on everything from feeling like a faceless scribe in a sea of literary "rock stars" to her former fondness for running in Manhattan's East River Park and the affect it had on her writing.

Jennifer Egan's Advice To Writers [The Daily Beast]

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rare-affinity-old
Rare Affinity

I cannot believe that this woman, a writer, would moan about having to work as a secretary for a someone who had been a secret agent (in the Special Overseas Executive?) during World War Two and was then writing about her experiences. This band of women were incredibly brave and knew they risked torture and execution at the hands of the Gestapo if they were ever caught. I doubt if I could ever be as brave as they were. Consequently, I would consider it a genuine privilege to get to hear first hand about their war time exploits, the more since the Countess would probably have been of a similar age to the young Jennifer when she was first posted overseas. I find it unfathomnable that someone who earns their living as a writer could be so dismissive about such an unique opportunity.