At the start of this edgy and ambitiously multilayered novel, a fashion model named Charlotte Swenson emerges from a car accident in her Illinois hometown with her face so badly shattered that it takes eighty titanium screws to reassemble it. She returns to New York still beautiful but oddly unrecognizable, a virtual stranger in the world she once effortlessly occupied.
With the surreal authority of a David Lynch, Jennifer Egan threads Charlotte’s narrative with those of other casualties of our infatuation with the image. There’s a deceptively plain teenaged girl embarking on a dangerous secret life, an alcoholic private eye, and an enigmatic stranger who changes names and accents as he prepares an apocalyptic blow against American society. As these narratives inexorably converge, Look at Me becomes a coolly mesmerizing intellectual thriller of identity and imposture.
“A haunting, sharp, splendidly articulate novel.”—The New York Times
“Comic, richly imagined, and stunningly written. . . . An energetic, unorthodox, quintessentially American vision of America.”—The New Yorker
“Arresting. . . . Look at Me is the real thing–brave, honest, unflinching. [It] is itself a mirror in which we can clearly see the true face of the times in which we live.”—Francine Prose, The New York Observer
JENNIFER EGAN is the author of the novels Look at Me, The Invisible Circus (which was released as a movie starring Cameron Diaz and Jordana Brewster), and a collection of stories, Emerald City.
Born in Chicago and raised in San Francisco, Egan attended the University of Pennsylvania and St. John's College, Cambridge. Her fiction has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, Harpers, GQ and Ploughshares, and she is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine.
From the Hardcover edition.