PEN to Paper: Unlocking the Unconscious with Jennifer Egan

Some of the greatest works of literature have emerged from times of crisis, and with most of the world in lockdown, we have more time to write than ever before. But where can we find inspiration?

Look no further than PEN to Paper, a video series of original writing exercises from authors of the PEN America World Voices Festival. Writers we love share short prompts to stir the imagination in these home videos. Our online audiences gain intimate insights into their favorite writers and their unique approaches to craft while putting their own pens to paper.

Jennifer Egan

In our first lesson, PEN America President and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan leads us through an essential writing exercise to access whole new worlds in the unconscious mind. Through a series of free association prompts she calls “word throws,” Jennifer challenges us to ignore our analytical brain and tap into our wild and exciting potential within.

Check out her video now, and order her newest book, Manhattan Beach, on Bookshop or Amazon.

About Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her most recent novel, Manhattan Beach, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her previous novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Los Angeles Times book prize, and was recently named one of the best books of the decade by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, and several others. Also a journalist, she has written frequently for The New York Times Magazine—most recently about pregnancy and childbirth among opioid-dependent women. She is the president of PEN America.