Manhattan Beach Setting

Jennifer Egan
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Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, New York, late 1930s and early 1940s

The novel's titular setting, Brooklyn's Manhattan Beach --specifically, the strip of it behind Dexter Styles' house -- is the site of two fateful meetings: Eddie Kerrigan's first meeting with Dexter, and Dexter's excursion with Anna and Lydia Kerrigan. Both meetings set into motion relationships that drive the novel's action. The beach, an edge, is both a limit and a location filled with promise -- an apt binary for the meetings that take place there, which create openings for new opportunities but also lead to various strains of destruction.

Brooklyn Naval Yard, New York, early 1940s

World War II is on, and -- depleted of male labor by the war effort -- the naval yard is staffed by its first-ever female workers. It is a site of excitement, camaraderie, possibility, and patriotism. In the naval yard, Anna Kerrigan first realizes...

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This section contains 461 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Manhattan Beach Study Guide
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