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Emerald City

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In her novel The Invisible Circus, Jennifer Egan described an LSD trip with such remarkable precision and power that it should forever guarantee her a place in the literary Hall of Fame of psychological writing. She reprises her LSD litany in her new collection of short fiction entitled Emerald City with ”Sisters of the Moon,” about a group of 14-year-old girls who like to slum, drop acid, and spray paint. Egan is a literary chameleon who can confidently set her stories in China and Kenya and Bora Bora, as well as write convincingly from a male point of view. But most impressive is her ability to put an exotic spin on the mundane. In her masterful hands, two lovers walk down a Manhattan avenue, in the title story, ”peering into the windows of restaurants as eagerly as diners peered out of them. It was as if they had all been told some friend might pass this way tonight and were keeping their eyes peeled.” Discovering Egan in the ’90s is like discovering Ann Beattie in the ’80s.

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