Community English Writing and Composition

Hofstra Gets “A Visit From the Goon Squad”

Jennifer Egan, author of the best-selling novel A Visit From the Goon Squad, was inspired by Proust and The Sopranos when writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning book – Proust because of the way he would weave in and out of time in his writing, and The Sopranos for its sweeping and often surprising narrative. Egan was the guest speaker for November 4th’s Great Writers, Great Readings, the series’ final event for 2013. The Guthart Cultural Center Theater was crowded with fans of her works, which also include The Invisible Circus, Emerald City and Other Stories, The Keep and Look at Me, the book for which she said she feels the most fondness.

Students from Mount St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, NJ, with Jennifer Egan.
Students from Mount St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, NJ, with Jennifer Egan.

In the audience were students from a Contemporary Novel class at Mount St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, NJ, who made the long drive just to meet their favorite author. “Goon Squad has blown their minds, I’m not exaggerating, and it has certainly changed the way that they both view and read literature,” said their teacher, Kristen Zosche.

Meredith Kelly, a senior from Mount St. Dominic with an interest in screenwriting, said. “Goon Squad was the first book assigned in the class, and I think it is a great introduction to contemporary literature. To hear Jennifer Egan talk about her writing and inspirations was very enlightening. It was most definitely worth the trip.”

Future Great Writers, Great Readings events include author and essayist Anne Fadiman (February 26); playwright Annie Baker (April 2); award-winning poet and Hofstra faculty member Phillis Levin (April 23); and select readings by MFA students in Hofstra’s Creative Writing Program (May 7). All Great Writers, Great Readings events are free and open to the public. For more information, please call 516-463-5410 or visit

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