In an interview at Vulture Festival on Saturday, author Jennifer Egan announced that a sequel to A Visit from the Goon Squad might be coming soon, provided she can mold her ideas into a worthy follow-up to the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner. The driving question, Egan says, is this: "[C]an I take the same structural approach and have nothing about time or music, and these peripheral characters and do something that stands on it’s own?"
Published in 2010, A Visit from the Goon Squad is part novel, part story collection. Told in 13 vignettes connected to Bennie and Sasha — an aging record producer and his young assistant — Egan’s fourth novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as "An inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed." Goon Squad also took home the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction that same year.
In the years following its release, A Visit from the Goon Squad drew the eyes of producers from prominent outlets. HBO optioned the novel for a series adaptation in 2011, but the project fell off of the network’s development schedule in 2013. Around that time, Sundance wanted a piece of the action, but there has been no further word on the project, and many agree that the novel is unfilmable. Now, with the rising trend of adapting novels into limited series — as has been done with The Nix, My Brilliant Friend, and Looking for Alaska — it seems as if a Goon Squad screen adaptation could be on the horizon.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, $12.02, Amazon
There’s no word of that yet, however, and Egan isn’t even sure she’ll be able to give her fans a companion novel to A Visit from the Goon Squad. "I have a lot of first-draft material," Egan says, and goes on to note that her follow-up is "definitely not within the same cast of characters but their children or — the whole idea is to follow curiosity." Egan told New York Magazine‘s Adam Moss that if she can’t make her idea work, she "won’t publish" the novel.
Since A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan has published one novel, 2017’s Manhattan Beach, which received nominations for both the National Book Award and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Manhattan Beach won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction, as well as this year’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s One Book, One New York contest.
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