Jennifer Egan Earns Coveted NBCC Award for "Goon Squad"

Mar 11, 2011, 12:43 by David Hope

Jennifer Egan has earned herself one of the most coveted awards among authors. On Thursday night, the National Book Critics Circle honored Egan with their 2010 Fiction Prize for her work titled, �A Visit from the Goon Squad.�

The NBCC is a membership based organization of more than 600 book critics nationwide. Thursday night, the group held their annual award ceremony at the Tishman Auditorium of The New School in New York City.

Critics called Egan�s work �a novel at once experimental in form and crystal clear in the overlapping stories it delivers, offering us a sense of youth and what gets lost along the way.�

Egan, a Brooklyn resident, beat out fellow nominees David Grossman, Paul Murray, Hans Keilson, and Jonathan Franzen for the award.

Egan's novel, published by Alfred A. Knopf, is a contemporary work that follows a dozen or so characters involved in the music industry. The title is taken from the Elvis Costello song �Goon Squad.�

The award is the first significant critical prize for the 49-year-old author and mother, who has also published three other novels and a collection of stories.

Other authors who received awards include Isabel Wilkerson for her nonfiction novel �The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration," Darin Strauss for his autobiography �Half a Life,� Sarah Bakewell for her biography �How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer,� C. D. Wright for his poem �One With Others� (Copper Canyon), and Clare Cavanagh who took the criticism award for �Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West.�