Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-Winner, Tweets New Story with The New Yorker

In March, Jen­nifer Egan (A Vis­it From the Goon Squad) paid a vis­it to Google and was asked to sum up her year since win­ning the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. She said: “I am still not used to the idea that I won it. Maybe I will final­ly real­ly grab hold of that idea when some­one else wins it. I will say ‘No, I want it!’ ” Lit­tle did she know that just a few weeks lat­er the Pulitzer Prize judges would decline to name a suc­ces­sor, leav­ing her in men­tal lim­bo for yet anoth­er year. She seems to be han­dling it pret­ty well — well enough to pub­lish a new short sto­ry on The New York­er’s Fic­tion twit­ter stream. Yes, you read that right, its Twit­ter stream.

Start­ing last night, The New York­er began tweet­ing her new sto­ry, “Black Box,” and the sto­ry will con­tin­ue to unfold over nine more night­ly install­ments. It’s a gim­mick, you’re think­ing, right? Well, for Egan, it’s not. She explains on The New York­er web site:

I’d also been won­der­ing about how to write fic­tion whose struc­ture would lend itself to seri­al­iza­tion on Twit­ter. This is not a new idea, of course, but it’s a rich one—because of the inti­ma­cy of reach­ing peo­ple through their phones, and because of the odd poet­ry that can hap­pen in a hun­dred and forty char­ac­ters. I found myself imag­in­ing a series of terse men­tal dis­patch­es from a female spy of the future, work­ing under­cov­er by the Mediter­ranean Sea. I wrote these bul­letins by hand in a Japan­ese note­book that had eight rec­tan­gles on each page. The sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly near­ly twice its present length; it took me a year, on and off, to con­trol and cal­i­brate the mate­r­i­al into what is now “Black Box.”

If you’re a Twit­ter user, you can catch the live stream between 8 and 9 P.M. EDT. (And you can also fol­low our live­ly Twit­ter stream here.) If micro-seri­al­ized fic­tion isn’t your thing, then you can always fol­low the sto­ry on The New York­er’s “Page Turn­er” blog.

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.