NeMLA Reads Together

Jennifer Egan, "Manhattan Beach"

Jennifer Egan.

© Pieter M. van Hattem

"NeMLA Reads Together" promotes a novel written by our invited speaker. 

The book cover to Jennifer Egan's novel "Manhattan Beach" shows the letters of the book's title and the author's name connected, as if the letters from "Manhattan Beach" bleed down to form the letters of "Jennifer Egan." The title and author's name are in one circle of light against a dark backdrop.

NeMLA's 52nd Annual Convention in Philadelphia will feature Jennifer Egan, whose novel Manhattan Beach is the focus of "NeMLA Reads Together." 

Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎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 once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.

Manhattan Beach takes us into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men in a dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.

NeMLA members are encouraged to read Manhattan Beach in preparation for the opening address and to submit a question they would like to ask the author. Bring your questions for Jennifer Egan to the convention!