I have Jennifer Egan fever. I caught it at the beginning of last year, when I read “Ask Me if I Care,” a short story of hers that The New Yorker had excerpted from her then-forthcoming novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad. I read the other two stories The New Yorker had published on my iPhone while getting a pedicure. It’s a banal admission only worth recalling because I remember sitting in the salon’s lounge long after the polish had dried and it was time to leave—I had to read it all, right then and there. After that, I read every single story she published, every novel she had written, every interview I could get my hands on. (I knew the obsession was bad when I started picking through the Amazon reviews.)
- Thessaly La Force for the Paris Review Daily
I especially liked the part about watching a screening of Pulp Fiction with Egan.
Egan had only seen Pulp Fiction once before, in a theater sometime in 1994, and when the lights came up, she admitted she was shocked by what she had seen. “I was just copying this movie! I even have a character named Jules! Oh my God. In a way, it’s slightly frightening. I mean, how much was I really influenced? I don’t know. Not consciously, but it’s really amazing how much happens without our knowing it.” She paused, then offered analysis: “They’re constantly talking about time. And in fact the whole rhythm of the film is about a task that needs to get done, a timeline, and then delays.”