The Candy House

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The Candy House opens with the staggeringly brilliant Bix Bouton, whose company, Mandala, is so successful that he is “one of those tech demi-gods with whom we’re all on a first name basis.” Bix is 40, with four kids, restless, desperate for a new idea, when he stumbles into a conversation group, mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalizing” memory. It’s 2010. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, “Own Your Unconscious”—that allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others—has seduced multitudes. But not everyone.

In spellbinding interlocking narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of Own Your Unconscious through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Intellectually dazzling, The Candy House is also extraordinarily moving, a testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for real connection, love, family, privacy and redemption. In the world of Egan’s spectacular imagination, there are “counters” who track and exploit desires and there are “eluders,” those who understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House. Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of narrative styles—from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter and a chapter of tweets.

Reviews

Library Journal, 1/1/22 (starred review)

“A forceful, wonderfully fragmented novel of a terrifyingly possible future, as intellectually rigorous as it is formally impressive, and yet another monumental work from Egan.”

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Kirkus Reviews, 12/24/21 (starred review)

“A thrilling, endlessly stimulating work that demands to be read and reread.

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Publisher’s Weekly, 12/23/21 (starred review)

“Egan returns to the fertile territory and characters of A Visit from the Goon Squad with an electrifying and shape-shifting story that one-ups its Pulitzer-winning predecessor.”

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Anticipation

Early reviews and 2022 projections for The Candy House

Boston.com, 1/3/22

23 books to look out for in 2022, according to local experts

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USA Today, 1/3/22

22 things we can’t wait to watch, read or hear in 2022

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Glamour, 1/2/22

The Best Books of 2022 to Add to Your Reading List

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Star Tribune, 12/31/21

Bookmark: Books to look forward to in 2022

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Fortune, 12/31/21

The top 10 most anticipated books of 2022, according to Goodreads

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Seattle Times, 12/31/21

Moira Macdonald picks 15 of the most anticipated books of 2022

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Oprah Daily, 12/31/21

The 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2022

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Daily Mail, 12/30/21

Year you’ll want to turn over a new leaf: Julian Barnes is back… and Dolly Parton’s written her first novel. Here’s our stellar pick for high brow and low

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BBC News, 12/28/21

Books 2022: A pick of what’s coming up

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Time Magazine, 12/16/21

One of The 21 Most Anticipated Books of 2022

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Goodreads, 12/27/21

Goodreads Members’ Most Anticipated Books of 2022

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Parade, 12/17/21

30 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2022

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Good Housekeeping, 12/28/21

The 15 Best and Most-Anticipated Books of 2022

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The National, 12/28/21

Books in 2022: from Prince Harry’s untitled memoir to Jennifer Egan’s ‘The Candy House’

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SF Chronicle, 12/27/21

books that promise to be great in the first half of 2022

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Vogue, 12/20/21

The Best Books of 2022: A Preview

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Bustle, 12/14/21

The Most Anticipated Books Of 2022

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Interviews

The New Yorker Q&A, 12/27/21

The author discusses “What the Forest Remembers,” her story from the latest issue of the magazine.

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