I was a stepchild in two different families. The hardest thing about being a stepchild is you know that in some way everything would be easier if you didnt exist.— Jennifer Egan
The most remarkable Jennifer Egan quotes that will transform you to a better person
If I had a view like this to look down on every day, I would have the energy and inspiration to conquer the world. The trouble is, when you most need such a view, no one gives it to you.
I felt more doubtful than usual with 'Goon Squad,' because I knew that the book's genre wasn't easily named - Novel? Stories? Novel-in-stories? - and I worried that its lack of a clear category would count against it. My hopes for it were pretty modest.
She was clean": no piercings, tattoos, or scarifications.
All the kids were now. And who could blame them, Alex thought, after watching three generations of flaccid tattoos droop like moth-eaten upholstery over poorly stuffed biceps and saggy asses?
Goon Squad' took about three years to write and that's the short end.
My second novel, 'Look at Me,' took six years.
I loved every minute of my childhood - sunbathing on the fire escape, digging for buried treasure in the back yard, pulling alewives out of the sand... Then it was all taken away from me. I came back every summer to visit my father until I was 18, but I was always the outsider.
I don’t want to fade away, I want to flame away - I want my death to be an attraction, a spectacle, a mystery. A work of art.
Because you can't write habitually and well all the time, you have to be willing to write badly. That's how you get the regularity that enables you to be present for the good stuff.
Vinegar: that's what fear smells like.
I think ethical ambivalence is a kind of innoculation, a way of excusing yourself in advance for something you actually want to do. No offense.
Her only thought was of getting away, as if she were carrying a live grenade from inside the house, so that when it exploded, it would destroy just herself.
Stu walked Bennie over to Chris in the chair and parted his hair to reveal some tan little creatures the size of poppy seeds moving around on his scalp. Bennie felt himself grow faint.'Lice' the barber whispered.'They get it at school'. 'But he goes to private school' Bernie had blurted.'In Crandale,New York!
I'm very interested in the way the Internet has changed teenage life.
Obviously it's very different from when I grew up, when there weren't even answering machines, much less computers. I was telling my children this the other day, and the little one said, "Did you have electricity, Mom?" and I was like okay, enough, kid.
Like all failed experiments, that one taught me something I didn’t expect: one key ingredient of so-called experience is the delusional faith that it is unique and special, that those included in it are privileged and those excluded from it are missing out.
Technology makes everyone feel old. A laptop is old after two years. Someone always has something newer. Everyone seems to feel obsolete now, even the young.
I haven't had writer's block. I think it's because my process involves writing very badly.
The world is full of shitheads, Rhea.
Don’t listen to them—listen to me. And I know that Lou is one of those shitheads. But I listen.
I’m sorry and I believe in you and I’ll always be near you, protecting you, and I will never leave you, I’ll be curled around your heart for the rest of your life.
The problem was precision, perfection;
the problem was digitization, which sucked the life out of everything that got smeared through its microscopic mesh.
But I always need to identify with a character to write about him or her - and by "identify," I mean see the world through that person's eyes and have a strong sense of the inner logic of their acts and decisions, wacky or wrongheaded though they might be. In that sense, I think there's some of me in all of them.
The pause makes you think the song will end.
And then the song isn't really over, so you're relieved. But then the song does actually end, because every song ends, obviously, and THAT. TIME. THE. END. IS. FOR. REAL.
I think the one thing that's changed over time is that I've come to realise, as a fiction writer, the fact that I don't think it will work out, doesn't mean that it actually won't.
She'd risked everything, and here was the result: the raw, warped core of her life.
happened as I listened: I felt pain. Not in my head, not in my arm, not in my leg; everywhere at once. I told myself there was no difference between being “inside” and being “outside,” that it all came down to X’s and O’s that could be acquired in any number of different ways, but the pain increased to a point where I thought I might collapse, and I limped away.
Being somewhere but not completely: that was home for Danny.
. . . All he needed was a cellphone or I-access, or both at once, or even just a plan to leave wherever he was and go someplace else really really soon.
He looks tired, like someone walked on his skin and left footprints.
The sky was electric blue above the trees but the yard felt dark.
Stephanie went to the edge of the lawn and sat her forehead on her knees. The grass and soil were still warm from the day. She wanted to cry but she couldn't. The feeling was too deep.
I think, for one thing, all of us remember those teenage years and those songs that we fell in love with and the music scene that we were part of. So, in a certain way, music cuts through time like almost nothing else. You know, it makes us feel like we're back in an earlier moment.
It's finished. Everything went past, without me.
I know I'm famous and irresitible - a combination whose properties closely resemble radioactivity - and I know that you in this room are helpless against me.
th blu nyt th stRs u can't c th hum tht nevr gOs awy
I've never been that confident. I don't tend to think, swaggeringly, I'm going to ace this. It's just not who I am.
What I Suddenly Understand My job is to make people uncomfortable.
+ I will do it all my life. ---> My mother, Sasha Blake, is my first victim.
We're [writers] all afraid of writing badly, and there are psychological reasons, like the bad interior of ourselves is somehow being revealed, but we all fear that, and you can't write well if you're not willing to write badly. That's why you have to make writing a habit, so it feels normal and not strange.
some mornings... I sit at the kitchen table shaking salt into the hairs on my arm, and a feeling shoves up in me: it's finished. Everything went past without me.
I haven’t had trouble with writer’s block.
I think it’s because my process involves writing very badly. My first drafts are filled with lurching, clichéd writing, outright flailing around. Writing that doesn’t have a good voice or any voice. But then there will be good moments. It seems writer’s block is often a dislike of writing badly and waiting for writing better to happen.
There are so many ways to go wrong. All we've got are metaphors, and they're never exactly right. You can never just Say. The. Thing.
"See," Sasha muttered, eyeing the sun. 'It's mine."
No one is waiting for me. In this story, I'm the girl no one is waiting for.
And Alex understood that Scotty Hausmann did not exist.
He was a word casing in human form: a shell whose essence has vanished.
I listened to classic rock and roll, and punk rock.
'Goon Squad' provides a pretty accurate playlist of my teenage years, though it leaves out 'The Who,' which was my absolute favorite band.
I grew up in the 70s, when people talked on the phone - and just talked more.
I remember the phone was the epicenter of our house. I spent hours every evening as a teenager waiting for the phone to ring and talking to my friends. Before the age of technology, it was also easier to just disappear from the face of the earth.
Even the financial disclosure statements that political bloggers were required to post hadn't stemmed the suspicion that people's opinions weren't really their own. "Who's paying you?" was a retort that might follow any bout of enthusiasm, along with laughter - who would let themselves be bought?
...water laughing softly down a black stone wall.
I picture it like Judgement Day,' he says finally, his eyes on the water.
'We'll rise up out of our bodies and find each other again in spirit form. We'll meet in that new place, all of us together, and first it'll seem strange, and pretty soon it'll seem strange that you could ever lose someone, or get lost.
Nineteen eighty is almost here, thank God.
the hippies are getting old, they blew their brains on acid and now they're begging on street corners all over San Francisco. Their hair is tangled and their bare feet are thick and gray as shoes. We're sick of them.
If you don't have people that the reader cares about and stories that are gripping, you've got nothing.
Be willing and unafraid to write badly, because often the bad stuff.
..forms a base on which to build something better.
It's turning out to be a bad day, a day when the sun feels like teeth.
Oh we'll know each other forever, Bix says. The days of losing touch are almost gone.