Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kevin Egan

Kevin Egan is the acclaimed author of Midnight, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013, as well as numerous other novels and short stories. He has spent his entire legal career working in the New York State court system, including lengthy stints as law clerk to two state Supreme Court justices. He graduated with a BA in English from Cornell University and teaches legal writing at Berkeley College in Manhattan.

Egan's latest novel is A Shattered Circle.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
I recently re-read This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I first read the book in college, where a standard litmus test among English majors was whether you preferred Fitzgerald to Hemingway or vice-versa. (I was firmly in the Fitzgerald camp.) Though I read The Great Gatsby in three college English courses and re-read it several more times over the years, I never returned to any of Fitzgerald’s other novels. In fact, as time removed me from my undergraduate youthfulness, I actually switched to the Hemingway camp. (A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises aged well with me.)

In January, I binge-watched the first season of Z, which is the story of the Fitzgerald marriage told from Zelda’s point of view. The episodes encompassed the publication of This Side of Paradise and the notoriety it brought to Scott. And so, the next day, I downloaded the book and started to read. I was impressed. Not only was the book far better than I recalled, it also displayed intimations of what would become the elements of Fitzgerald’s signature style.

On Amory’s first night at Princeton, he wrote:
The great tapestries of trees had darkened to ghosts back at the edge of twilight. The early moon had drenched the arches with pale blue, and, weaving over the night, in and out of the gossamer rifts of moon, swept a song, a song with more than a hint of sadness, infinitely transient, infinitely regretful.
Could Gatsby be very far behind?
Visit Kevin Egan's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Shattered Circle.

--Marshal Zeringue