"NeMLA Reads Together" promotes a novel written by our invited speaker for all our attendees to read during the year preceding our convention.
NeMLA's 52nd Annual Convention in Philadelphia will feature Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach. The novel 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 its characters, of America and the world.
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.
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 using our mobile app.