At Jennifer Egan Talk, The Cabin Announces 2019-20 Season Lineup (It's a Biggie) 

During World War II, women flooded factory floors to build the planes, boats, trucks and weapons that helped the U.S. prevail against the Axis powers—but they weren't allowed to fight, and were discouraged from taking jobs that put them in close proximity to men.

"It was thought that in an enclosed space, men couldn't control themselves—and we now know that's not the case," bestselling and award-winning writer Jennifer Egan told a packed Egyptian Theatre on April 25.

Egan was in Boise as part of The Cabin's Readings & Conversations series, and she was discussing the many influences on her latest novel, Manhattan Beach, which tells the story of a young woman dipping her toes into the world of organized crime (and literally dipping her toes into underwater welding) while unraveling the mystery of her missing father in New York during the second World War.

Researching what would become Manhattan Beach, Egan conducted years of interviews and research, and tapped into her own Irish-American family history to address family trauma and law enforcement (her grandfather retired with the rank of commander and was a close confidant of President Harry Truman). At one point, she let a team of master divers put her in an old-school, 200-pound underwater welding suit.

"This is more like having a machine assembled around you than putting on clothes," she said.

Her first draft of the novel, written by hand, was 1,400 pages long, and took her five years to write and edit.

"The reason [I write by hand] is because I want to discover the unconscious part of my mind," she said. "It's as if my hand is a little ahead of my brain."

Ahead of Egan's talk, The Cabin Executive Director Kurt Zwolfer dropped a big piece of news: the 2019-20 Readings & Conversations lineup, which includes some heavy-hitters. Here's the rundown: 
  • Monday, Oct. 7, at The Morrison Center: Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me and an upcoming novel, The Water Dancer, which will be released in September 2019

  • Tuesday, Oct. 15, at The Morrison Center: Ann Patchett, author of numerous novels, including The Dutch House, set for release in September 2019

  • Saturday, Feb. 1, at The Egyptian Theatre: Jad Abumrad, host of WNYC Studios' Radiolab

  • Wednesday, March 4, at The Egyptian Theatre: Francisco Cantu, translator and author of The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border

  • Wednesday, April 15, The Egyptian Theatre: Madeline Miller, author of The New York Times bestseller Circe and The Song of Achilles
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