The Candy House

The Candy House book cover

From the publisher’s website

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.

Preorder The Candy House for an Indies Exclusive Offer of a Custom Candy House Tote Bag and Signed Bookplate. Here is a list of participating stores with links to buy.

Reviews

Times Live (South Africa), by Sue De Groot

“Jennifer Egan’s new novel skips joyfully back and forth between characters, plots and timelines at a hair-raising pace.” 5 Stars

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Pop Matters, with Jesse Kavadlo, 5/23/22

‘The Candy House’ is an EDM concert, a prestige drama, a mind palace – and a warning.”

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Locus Magazine, by Ian Mond, 5/29/22

“Hilarious and emotionally fraught…While The Candy House is branded as a novel, it can also be experienced as a short story col­lection.”

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Medium.com by Thomas Jenkins, 6/11/22

The Candy House weds brilliant narration with beautiful prose”

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Vulure by Mallika Rao, 5/19/22

“There are so many moments in The Candy House that live in the realm of air, of grass, of blood.”

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Prospect Magazine (UK), by Catherine Taylor, June 2022

“The book pulsates with intense engagement, empathy and humour, as well as a bittersweet nostalgia.”

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Metro (London) by Ben East, 5/16/22

“The Candy House – which can easily be read as a standalone novel – is just as innovative, wise, funny and confounding as its predecessor.”

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The Philadelphia Inquirer, by Patrick Rapa, 3/31/22

“Like a well-curated playlist, The Candy House uses chapter breaks to switch perspectives and tempos without killing the mood, and each sensuous little story feels like a peek through the blinds at people whose larger journeys we can only guess at.”

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The Conversation (Australia), by Anthony Macris, 5/2022

I finished reading The Candy House…excited that I was caught up in some great, exhilarating adventure that is at the very core of what it means to be human.”

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The Daily Mail on Sunday (UK), 4/31/22

“Egan is one of the few names that, when linked with the expression ‘novel of ideas’, makes the heart sing rather than sink.”

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The Economist, 5/7/22

The Candy House is a social novel, a kind of Middlemarch for the 21st century with an aptly whirling form.”

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The Evening Standard (UK), by Sam Parker, 4/19/22

The Candy House is just as compelling as its predecessor.”

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The Irish Times, by Helen Cullen, 4/30/22

“Bold and brilliant.”

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The Daily Telegraph (UK), by Claire Allfree, 4/16/22

“Jennifer Egan’s new novel is mind-bogglingly clever.”

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The Independent (Ireland), by Anne O’Neill, 4/23/22

“This novel is a triumphant exploration of analogue versus digital, surveillance versus freedom, literature versus technology.”

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The Times (UK), by Andrew Billen, 4/16/22

“No one writing now does it more generously than Egan.  I hope she wins another Pulitzer.”

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The New Republic, by Jennifer Wilson, 5/10/22

“As she re-creates the tantalizing disorder of the internet on the page, Egan displays the capaciousness of the novel as a form, making the case for old media in this era of new.”

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The Brooklyn Rail, by Tom Deignan, 4/2022

“Egan’s great accomplishment in The Candy House—as in Goon Squad—is her steadfast commitment to flesh and blood characters, who bruise and bleed, even amidst all of the social commentary and satire.”

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, by Olive Fellows, 4/24/22

Goon Squad redux, but better.”

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The Houston Chronicle, by Maggie Galehouse, 3/28/22

“Despite the influx of young characters, The Candy House has an old soul. A parent’s soul.”

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CBS Book Report with Ron Charles, 4/17/22

“Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House may be the most anticipated novel of the year.”

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New York Times Book Review by James Poniewozik, 4/6/22

“Egan is a one-woman R&D department of language.”

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Vox, by Constance Grady, 4/11/22

“With The Candy House, Pulitzer Jennifer Egan makes her case for the novel:  The ambitious, kaleidoscopic follow-up to A Visit from the Goon Squad sticks its landing”

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Entertainment Weekly, by Leah Greenblatt, 4/6/22

“The Candy House Review:  Jennifer Egan returns with a chaotic, wonderful Goon Squad sequel”

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Slate, by Laura Miller, 4/5/22

“Jennifer Egan’s House of Wonders:  Her radiant new novel explores what role the imagination can still play in a world overwhelmed by technology”

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The Tampa Bay Times, by Colette Bancroft, 3/31/22

“A ‘sibling novel’ to her Pulitzer-winning “A Visit From the Goon Squad” brings back its vivid characters and lively plots.”

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USA Today, by Mark Athitakis, 4/2/22

“Egan’s audacity is welcome. Anything that’s a challenge to the algorithm is a gift to humanity – and to fiction.”

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San Francisco Chronicle, by Allison Arieff, 3/29/22

“This is a beautiful exploration of loss, memory and history, a not too subtle critique of what is lost when we live our lives online.”

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Minneapolis Star-Tribune and St-Louis Post Dispatch, by Ellen Akins, 4/1/22

“Each [chapter] has its own language, its own tropes and terms, which Egan somehow manages to use and skewer at the same time, while maintaining the mystery that makes each person unique and worth knowing.”

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Real Simple, by Kristyn Kusek Lewis, April 2022

” The Candy House…is unlike anything you’ve read…With multiple perspectives and styles (there’s a chapter composed solely of tweets), this mind-bending novel is a wild ride.”

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Oprah Daily Spring Books Preview–#1 Pick!! 4/1/22

“Dazzling and provocative…Egan’s technical brio enriches her humane and timely novel, hinting at the risks and rewards in a brave new coded world.”

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Oprah Daily, by Stacy D’Erasmo, 2/1/22

“Fans of Jennifer Egan’s breakout hit and Pulitzer Prize-winning 2010 novel A Visit from the Goon Squad will be thrilled to know that its ‘sibling novel,’ The Candy House, is here at last…Egan’s prose is as lithe and knowing as ever, tender toward human folly, but highly aware of how flawed we all are… In the future, no matter their day jobs helping eluders, novelists may still be the ones who will remind us of this interconnectedness so movingly and beautifully, and as Egan does so well in these intricately woven pages.”

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Dwight Garner, The New York Times, 3/30/21

“Sometimes…you pick up a novel and it makes your skin prickle…Jennifer Egan’s new one, The Candy House, is one of these novels…Egan has a zonking sense of control; she knows where she’s going and the polyphonic effects she wants to achieve, and she achieves them, as if she were writing on a type of MacBook that won’t exist for another decade.”

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The Harvard Crimson, 2/15/22

‘The Candy House’ Review: A Brilliant Tale Exploring the Human Side of Technology

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Booklist 2/1/22 (starred review)

“Haunting and often hilarious, this is a wondrous, riotously inventive work of speculative fiction that celebrates the power of the imagination in the face of technology that threatens to do our thinking for us.”

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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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Interviews

Lunch With the FT, with Alice Fishburn, 8/26/22

“Fiction has been a greedy grab bag from minute one. . . so if we decide that people are only allowed to do certain things in a form that already is imperiled . . . what are you trying to do, just kill it?”

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The Victoria Festival of Authors, with Terese Svoboda, 8/2022

“All of that motion, that playing with perspective, and above all moving in and out of particular consciousnesses—is fiction’s superpower.”

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ABC’s The Book Case with Kate and Charlie Gibson

“If I had to pick one word to describe everything I want to do as a writer and the reason I like to read, it is:  fun.”

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Sway with Kara Swisher, 2/23/2022

Would you upload your consciousness to the cloud?  Jennifer Egan talks about her new book and social media’s “illusion of authenticity.”

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Science vs Fiction at Pioneer Works, with Astrophysicist Janna Levin, 5/2022

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The TED Interview with Steven Johnson, 7/25/22

“Fiction is about confronting the mystery and the complexity of human life.”

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Wheels Off with Rhett Miller, 8/2/22

“The goal is always to keep getting better. That’s what has to happen to stay in it. You have to keep getting better.”

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Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso, 5/22/22

“I’m a big believer in the fact that we all know much more than we realize we know.”

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Elle Magazine’s Shelf Life, 4/5/22

“I had to stop reading Robot Dreams with my young son because I couldn’t repress my grief.”

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Bustle, with Chaya Bhuvaneswar, 5/5/22

“Novels are there to entertain readers, period.”

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Libro.fm with Kelsey Norris, 5/11/22

The Candy House about family, connection, legacy, technology, and so much more. It is her best work yet.”

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CBC Sunday Magazine, with Piya Chattopadhyay, 4/24/22

Jennifer Egan on the value of storytelling in a data-driven world

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The Irish Times with John Self, 4/23/22

“I know how hard it is to reach a point where anyone gives a damn what you do.”

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Literary Hub with Jane Ciabattari, 4/5/22

“My methodology, such as it is, has amounted to following my curiosity and hoping for the best.”

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KQED Forum with Alexis Madrigal, 4/19/22

Egan joins us to discuss storytelling in our online age and why she considers this book an “homage to fiction.”

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iNews (UK), with Neil Armstrong, 4/30/22

“I just wonder whether, if I’d been rewarded so heavily as a younger writer, would I have gotten better or would it have stopped me?”

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The Independent (UK) with Suze Olbrich, 4/28/22

“Dialogue is impossible if no one will let the other person speak.”

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With Rick Kleffel for KBCZ and KSQD (NorCal), 4/29/22

The Candy House may think the future, the past and the present are all traps, but by any name you care to summon, they still taste sweet.

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GQ, with Clay Skipper, 4/11/22

“I was handwriting postcards to friends of friends, saying, ‘I have a reading, will you come?’”

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PBS News Hour, with Jeffrey Brown, 4/29/22

“In a way, what the book does is simulate this experience of being in a collective consciousness and moving in and out of people’s minds.”

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All Of It with Alison Stewart, 5/6/22

Get Lit, the WNYC book club:  Live from WNYC’s Green Room, with audience questions:

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The New York Times Book Review Podcast, with John Williams 4/29/22

“The only time any kind of radical structural form works is if I can find a story that can only be told that way. It involves a lot of waiting, and a lot of trial and error.”

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Tricia Ford for Audible.com, 4/4/22

“I conceived of The Candy House as a book about space, and I think that’s why the word “house” is right in the title”

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Barnes and Noble’s “Poured Over,” 4/7/22

“In the end, all the good ideas and fancy craft approaches get you absolutely nothing if there’s no emotional content.”

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Tom Beer for Kirkus Reviews, 4/5/22

“I was a baseball mom for many years—I’d barely ever been to a baseball game before I had children, and I now have a pretty thoroughgoing knowledge of minor league baseball parks in America, and I’ve come to love baseball.”

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NPR’s Morning Edition with Leila Fadel, 4/8/22

The Candy House cautions:  be careful of things that at first appear inviting”

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Lynn Steger Strong in the Los Angeles Times, 4/3/22

“I guess to do something fully, you have to believe it will change everything.”

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Andrew Chow in Time Magazine, April 30th, 2022

“I know it’s all there in my mind—so why can I see some memories and not others?”

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Lauren Mechling in Vogue, April 2022

“It’s fascinating how to visit a place is to visit all the times you’ve been in that place. Spaces hold stories.”

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Publisher’s Weekly, 2/28/22

“The sheer imagination, adventure, and majesty of Egan’s writing is impossible to quantify.”

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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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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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