There’s no “then” and there’s no “now” in Goon Squad because “then” is different for all of the people and “now” is different for all of the people, because this book moves around so much in time. I think it may be that an awareness of time passing and a feeling of nostalgia go hand in hand. But I also wonder if what might counter that is, since part of nostalgia is a feeling of longing for something gone and people that are gone, if no one disappears — which seems to be the current state — how can you really long for them? They’re still there, they’re all your Facebook friends. I don’t know, I don’t have an answer. I mean who’s gone? Nothing is gone. No songs are gone. My whole fricken’ iPod is a waltz through my past.

Jennifer Egan will be on the panel "Time Is. . . . " with Peter Mountfourd and Lawrence Douglas at the Boston Book Festival, October 15, 12:45 pm, Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street.

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