Hannah Tolksdorf


Hannah Tolksdorf

A Reflection on Meeting and Speaking with Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Jennifer Egan

Not only is Jennifer Egan a wonderful author, intertwining stories and experiences, but she was so great to speak with.

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I am lucky to be a part of a book group made up of kind and intelligent women sharing their joy of reading with one another. But this is not your average book group. The Profluence Book Group goes above and beyond by inviting the authors of the works to join us in discussion and Q&A.

We were so honored that the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad and The Candy House, Jennifer Egan joined us. She was even so kind to do a reading for us! Having the opportunity to experience her work in her own cadence was such a treat. One that I have the joy of sharing with you here: 

If you have not yet read works by Jennifer Egan, I would highly recommend doing so. Her exploration of characters is deep and impactful giving her reader the experience of what it is to be human. 

A Visit from the Goon Squad is a culmination of thirteen stories that all converge on one character, Bennie Salazar. Bennie is a music industry executive that at some time or another affected the fate of so many. Egan creates a vivid tapestry of characters’ lives over several decades. The narrative explores themes of time, music, relationships, and the effects of technology on society. The characters’ paths intersect, and each chapter offers a unique perspective on their experiences and challenges. Egan’s unconventional narrative structure, with its shifting timelines and viewpoints, mirrors the unpredictability and rhythm of life itself. The book delves into the highs and lows of the characters’ lives, revealing their aspirations, regrets, and the impact of time’s inexorable passage. Through its innovative storytelling, the novel captures the essence of human existence, the connections we form, and the profound influence of time on our individual journeys.

In her most recent publication, The Candy House, Egan explores the lives affected by technology. In another congregation of stories, The Candy House delves into the complexities of human relationships and the passage of time. The narrative revolves around a woman who revisits her childhood home, known as the Candy House, and reflects on the memories associated with it. Through the protagonist’s introspection, the story explores themes of nostalgia, the inevitability of change, and the bittersweet nature of revisiting the past. As she navigates the familiar yet altered spaces, the protagonist grapples with the contrast between her idealized memories and the reality of the present. Egan’s storytelling highlights the interplay between memory and reality, capturing the emotional nuances that come with revisiting cherished places from our past.

Not only is Jennifer Egan a wonderful author, intertwining stories and experiences, but she was so great to speak with. Not to sound like too much of a fan girl, but she is SO COOL! At one point, Jennifer likened reading a physical book to an underground resistance of handheld devices. 

Here’s to us, the rebel readers!

Hannah Tolksdorf(she/they) Associate Editor of The Disruptive Quarterly

Hannah’s passion for the arts, environment, and social justice has been the underlying theme of their work and life. As a highschool student, Hannah founded two environmental activist groups. At UC Berkeley, Hannah’s love of art inspired them to pursue a BA in Art History, with a focus in pre-Columbian Art and Artifact, and a minor in Art Practice, in the medium of pen and ink, while playing Wing for the Cal Women’s Rugby team. Go Bears! 

The universe brought Hannah and Dr. Cynthia A. Phillips, Founder and Editor of The Disruptive Quarterly, together one day in the best little cowboy steakhouse in Arizona. Since that time, Hannah has been working for Dr. Phillips at 22nd Century by Design on many projects that will have a great and positive impact on the world and its future, including The Disruptive Quarterly.

(Left) Book Cover of The Candy House

A Reflection on Meeting and Speaking with Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Jennifer Egan

Hannah Tolksdorf

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