Manhattan Beach (Large Print / Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Short-listed for The National Book Award, Jennifer Egan's fifth novel is the story of Anna Kerrigan, and the people whose lives she touches.  Manhattan Beach follows Anna from the time she is a young girl in New York City during The Depression through her job as a diver for the Navy during World War II.  During that time period, Anna's father disappears, she has a relationship with a disreputable night club owner, and she must prove herself more than worthy in an occupation where she is the only woman.   Anna is both feisty and thoughtful; a strong, well-drawn female character who is smart, brave and independent.

I enjoyed this novel immensely.  The characters are realistic, not stereotypes, and Egan's rendering of a slice of New York City in the 30's and 40's is interesting and insightful.

— Nancy Randall

October 2017 Indie Next List

“Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach captures a time and place on the verge of momentous change. Set in Brooklyn in the 1940s, the novel tells the story of Anna Kerrigan, a young woman who has dropped out of Brooklyn College to contribute what she can to the American war effort. Unsatisfied with her job of inspecting and measuring machine parts, she attempts to enter the male-only world of deep-sea diving. Manhattan Beach is rich and atmospheric, highlighting a period when gangs controlled the waterfront, jazz streamed from the doors of nightclubs, and the future for everyone was far from certain.”
— Mark LaFramboise, Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC


The long-awaited, daring, and magnificent novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family.

Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career with the Ziegfeld Follies, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a nightclub, she chances to meet Dexter Styles again, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have vanished.

Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan's first historical novel is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America and the world. Manhattan Beach is a spectacular novel by one of the greatest writers of our time.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781432843410
ISBN-10: 1432843419
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Publication Date: October 4th, 2017
Language: English