An interview with Pulitzer-Prize winning author Jennifer Egan about her new novel The Candy House (Scribner).

This week’s Write the Book Prompt was generously suggested by my guest, Jennifer Egan—an exercise she assigns her students that she says has been helpful. Imagine yourself in a physical place, such as a room that you know well from an earlier point of your life. Describe what is to your left. What’s to the right? Is there a drawer open? What's inside the drawer? Move through the space mentally, looking in every direction, looking out the window and under the rugs. The second part of the prompt is to write about who comes into the space and what they do or say. Because physical spaces lead to people,  and quickly. Jennifer says the real wonder of this is to see how much detail we retain. And it’s also a way of defying the fragmentation of memory. If we imagine ourselves in a space, how much we can recall about tiny particulars of that place? And then who comes in, and what are they moved to do there?

Good luck with your work in the coming week, and tune in next week for another prompt or suggestion.

Music Credit: Aaron Shapiro


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