Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide

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GET THE BOOK

"A Visit from the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan

INCLUSION MILESTONES

2011

• "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ends ban on gay men and lesbians from serving openly in military.
• Trevor Bayne becomes youngest Daytona 500 winner
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AUTHOR INSPIRATIONS

Egan was raised in San Francisco and went to punk rock clubs there as a teenager. She now lives in in Brooklyn with her theatre director husband and two teenage sons. The Sopranos, Proust and her experience with identity theft were inspirations for this novel.

Featured Reader Wanted!

Featured Reader

– Share your key take-away about inclusion in this book in a sentence or two.
– Write a paragraph or two (up to 250 words) to describe your thoughts on exclusion/inclusion in the book, why you related or did not connect with the book, and why you think reading, inclusion and dialog about inclusion matter.
– Identify the name and website address of a cause you support with an inclusive mission.

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People in NY record producer's orbit connect over time

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Dead fish wrapped in newspaper in a hipster NYC office.

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Somewhere between a novel and a short story collection, thinks the author. PowerPoint chapter which provides a window on autism and an analysis of dramatic musical pauses is remarkable.

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Short and binge-inducing. 288 pages or 8 CDs/10 hours.

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Reconnect. People from your past provide your progress report on personal growth. Time is the Goon.

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Key character is an outlier because of heritage/color; he and his wife are cool people in a country club world. Diverse characters include a homeless man, untalented musicians, a boy with autism, people who have lost their fame and influence, and a genocidal dictator.

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Striped bass, ideally not from a polluted river.

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“Only an infinitesimal difference … between working in a tall green glass building on Park Avenue and collecting litter in a park.”

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Country club dining room, nice suburban home, or band’s garage rehearsal space.

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How do people from your past reveal who you were and how you’ve evolved?
What do the people you surround yourself with now indicate about where you are and need to go?
How does discrimination figure into this novel?
Who becomes homeless, addicted, or unemployed and why does that happen?
How are perpetrators of genocide portrayed by the media?

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Visit a homeless settlement and do something to help before you take off for LA or NYC.

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Optioned as an HBO television movie.

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“The Candy House” (2022) is a sequel to “A Visit From the Goon Squad.”