Summaries of Jennifer Egan’s “Reading Lucy”

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21 Responses to Summaries of Jennifer Egan’s “Reading Lucy”

  1. Eliza B. says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in Brooklyn is Mine in January 2008. Egan finds herself connected to a woman, Lucille Kolkin (Lucy), but through the letters that Lucy wrote. Egan suggest that through Lucy’s letters from World War II, she had started a “power friendship” with Lucy. There were similarities between to the two, as to their interest and even their to-do lists. Egan feels that she knows Lucy like she would know a close friend. She knew “Lucy was passionate” and how “wildly in love” Lucy was with her husband. Egan has imagined Lucy’s appearance as she was in 1944, her voice and actions but Egan feels that “All of Brooklyn seemed full of her.” For this, it was hard for Egan to know that Lucy had passed before creating this bond with her.

  2. ftejeda says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in Brooklyn was Mine on January 2008, Egan offers the opportunity to discover a short fragment of Lucille Kolkin’s life, while she worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War two. Throughout this essay, Egan expose the reader to a series of notes and reports which “Lucy” wrote to her husband. In addition Egan seems to make a parallel connection between Lucille daily routine and her contemporary life. Egan acknowledge that Lucille represents a friendship, but when she quotes “It felt like sixty two- years had passed without my noticing-such was the ringing immediacy of Lucy’s voice.” We can understand that to Egan, “Lucy” was far more important. Considering this had a symbolic meaning to Egan. Simultaneously it evokes a rare possibility for the author to journey into a significant historical era in Brooklyn. Ultimately Egan connection to Lucille is a combination of an admiration to a “passionate woman” and the sentimental connection that Brooklyn represents to her.

  3. Sheily F. says:

    In Jennifer Egan’s essay, “Reading Lucy,” published in the book “Brooklyn Was Mine,” January, 2008, Egan investigates about a young woman named Lucy who worked for the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WWII in her intent to research about work in the navy yard during that period of time. Egan expresses how Lucy, a woman from the 1940s, was so similar to her even with decades apart. Egan feels they have lived parallel lives as she reads the archives in the BHS that she said, “Who was this woman whose to-do lists looked so much like mine?” Egan developed such a relationship with Lucy’s life that she felt as though the letters became real at her present time and she had to advice Lucy. The author herself exemplifies how attached sometimes people become to past stories (non-fiction books, history), when they find that it shaped the situation they live in at the moment and understand that what is happening now passed in other times. This essay somehow reminds me of the famous saying “History repeats itself” which suggests that others had gone through the same as us before and such is the connection that made the author so anxious to meet this “wisecracking” woman.

  4. rayan says:

    In ” Reading Lucy ” by Jennifer Egan a essay published in Brooklyn Was mine on January 2008. Egan had a experience with letters that have been written by a women name Lucy while she worked at a navy ship yard in World War II. Egan shows that even people past experience could still make us have connections up to this day. Throughout essay while Egan goes through more and more later and she seems to find connection between Lucy daily routine and hers. Egan starts to form a friendship with Lucy because of all the similarities they have between them. Egan start to imagined that he was there in the 1944 and experiencing everything that Lucy was going through. This shows that even tough people might have past and gone you could still make a strong connection to them.

  5. In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in Brooklyn was Mine on January 2008, Egan talks about a man, who had a strong and powerful friendship with a woman names Lucille Kolkin, and how he spent his life by reading Lucille’s and her husband letters that was written to each other in the past. Egan suggest that having a strong friendship should never be broken no matters what comes in the way. In the essay, Egan shows how this man supported Lucy in every hardship times she faced and sometimes she who be stress out but he is there to support Lucy in every angles. Egan represent the knowledge of friendship between this man and Lucy toward us to show us that some friendships are really strong. Certain friendships are maintain by faith, trust and respect that was shown by this man and Lucy.

  6. Freddy H says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in Brooklyn Was Mine on January 2008, Egan writes about her encounter with past letters written in the 1940’s by a women named Lucille Kolkin. Egan argues that these well written documents by Kolkin have developed a strong connection between her and Lucy. In the opening paragraph of the essay Egan writes about her friendship with Kolkin and how it came to be such a “powerful friendship.” Egan later states, “it felt like sixty-two years had passed without my noticing,” expressing the depth of Kolkin’s letters and the connection that developed between them in such a short period of time. Egan also shows how her and Kolkin are very much alike with their to-do lists and when she goes to the computer to look up Kolkin and discovers she is deceased, Egan states she feels as though she were “withholding information from her.” Egan demonstrates how a bond or connection can be developed between two people without ever actually being with the person, in Egan’s case the letters from the 1940’s from the Brooklyn Historical Society written by Lucille Kolkin helped develop their bond.

  7. In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan an essay published in Brooklyn Was Mine on January 2008, Egan talks about how she developed a very powerful “friendship” with a woman named Lucille Kolkin. Egan was researching Kolkin for a book she was writing at the time. Egan argues that true friendship is a very strong bond that is hard to break. At some point while Egan was reading Lucille’s letters, Egan felt as if she was in Lucille’s life, stressing over her decisions. She also noticed similarities in Lucille’s life, like their to-do lists. Not all friendships are average but the one between Lucille and Egan turned out to be a very loving one.

  8. In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in Brooklyn was Mine on January 2008, Egan describes the life of Lucille Kolkin, or what she perceives of her life from reading the countless letters she had written to her husband Alfred Kolkin, during the 1940’s. Lucy, as Egan calls her, was a “brooklynite” like her. Egan believes she shares a deep, almost ancestral connection with Lucy. She claims Lucy is very similar to her in terms of work, education, and personality. Originally Egan tells us she was doing research for a novel about a woman working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II. Egan’s research eventually came across Lucy who had worked at the same navy yard. “We met for professional reasons” says Egan, as if talking about a person whom she had personally met. Egan, through a series of letter, gained such a strong bond with Lucy that only the closest friends can share.

  9. juliana says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in Brooklyn was Mine on January 2008, Egan discusses the life to a young woman of the past, Lucy Gewirtz and the connection that was created between Lucy and Egan. Throughout the essay Egan speaks of Lucy in terms of a friend, frequently queoting lucy and relating her to egans’ own life. Some parts of the essay feels as if lucy and egan were realy friends of the same time. During the end of the lettrers Egan became so close with Lucy that she feels a bit lost without her new and very old fiend. This essay shows the ties between the past and presentand how much a letter can change another persons life.

  10. In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in Brooklyn Was Mine on January 2008, Egan describes a powerful friendship with a woman from World War II, named Lucille Kolkin. Egan suggests that we often tend to take ownership of the place where we live and vice versa. There are several examples which suggest that a place can capture the essence of a person. For example “Sometimes, while crossing the street or jogging over the Brooklyn Bridge, I would have the thought that I might actually see Lucy”, which suggests that Brooklyn owns Lucy like Egan owns Brooklyn. Another quote that helps exemplify the thesis is “I was dying to hear her speaking voice (I imagined it deep and a little crackly) and to see what she looked like beyond that fuchsia print of her lips. All of Brooklyn seemed full of her.” A parallel between Brooklyn and Lucy’s exists, as her character was embedded all over the place. Just like Egan and Lucy, for us memories become an integral part of experiencing a place.

  11. zhik says:

    Brooklyn Was Mine
    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan a essay published in “Brooklyn was Mine” in January 2008. Egan writes about a woman from World War II named Lucille Kolkin and the connection that Egan herself feels towards this woman. Egan displays Lucys letters that went back and forth with her husband during the war. In the opening paragraph Egan talks about how her and Lucy have a “powerful friendship” although they never met. Egan is shocked when she sees Lucys to do list, she mentions to herself how it looks exactly like hers. Egan realizes how much of a bond she has created with Lucy through the letters she found in The Brooklyn Historial Society and jumps ahead of herself to look Lucy up on google. A rock has been dropped on her heart when she finds out Lucy passed away. Not always do you have to meet someone in person to feel extremely close to them; close enough to say you know their personality.

  12. sirapv says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in the book Brooklyn Was Mine, by Riverhead books in January 2008. Egan explores documents left behind by Luccile Kolkin, these documents provide a glimpse of Lucy’s life in 1942 at a navy shipyard. After meeting at the historic society and reading letters from her past, Egan developed a deep connection with Lucy. This connection gives Egan much insight into her life working in the shipyard. Egan questions the similarities, “Who was this woman whose to-do lists looked so much like mine?” this connection allows Egan to understand her subject. When the letters run out she loses that connection “Then, the letters stop In the first days without her raucous writing voice and her panoramic gaze felt a little lost. I found my self contemplating tracking down some of her living relative.” Egan began by researching Lucy for a book; in her explorations she created a deep connection with her.

  13. ervinhot says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, a essay published in “Brooklyn was mine” on January 2008, Egan writes about how she reads letters from a woman named Lucille Kolkin (Lucy) and feels a connection with Lucy. Egan states that even though she maybe dead and in different time periods she already has a connection with Lucy which she sees as a “powerful friendship”. They as if the same person but in different time periods so alike that while Egan saw things like “notes from shipfitting school she wrote down as well to learn about battleships” and “their to-do list basically the same” already a connection made here. A connection so strong that Egan found herself thinking about finding her two daughters and husband to talk to them about her from the age she stopped writing the letters to when she died. This alone shows that Egan would have liked a real friendship with Lucy and not just to read what was in the letters also to develop an even stronger bond than what was already made.

  14. ronnyandread says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jeniffer Egan a short story published in Brooklyn Was Mine on Jauary 2008, Egan writes about how her research led to formation of her “powerful friendship” with a woman named Lucille Klolkin. Egans experience reading Lucilles letters to her husband suggests that although time has changed our surroundings our struggles remain the same. Lucy, as Egan addresses her subject, is a “wisecrackig” woman who worked on a Navy yard in WWII. In her own words Egan tells us how her life compares to Lucys, “In some ways our worlds felt close together: we walked the same streets; we both worked hard and struggled to find time for practical necessities lie cleaning and shopping.” The author finds that the lifestyle of a woman who lived decades prior is comparable to that of contemporary people. Egan supports her view by pointing out situations in and surrounding Lucys life that are similar to events many people still face such as “union organizing”, the “plight of negroes”, “pep talks about college” and even anticipating her future. In essence, Egan found she could identify with Lucy by realizing that they had more in common than breathing the same air, they walked similar paths in different shoes.

  15. In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan an essay published in “Brooklyn Was Mine” on January 2008, Egan writes that Lucy was a young woman who during the World War two era worked in a Navy shipyard in Brooklyn. Lucy who at the time was in her 20s was married to a young soldier named Alfred. She had voluntered to work at the shipyard and he had enlisted in the navy. Throughout Egan’s essay we enter Lucy’s life through the letters written to her husband Alfred. As Egan quotes in the first paragraph of the first page “For two months, Lucy and I spend a couple hours together at the Brooklyn Historical Society..(Egan 21)” Through out this essay Egan tries to capture us into Lucy’s life by showing us her letters.

  16. Patrick says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan an essay published in the book Brooklyn Was Mine on January 2008, Egan writes about an inevitable encounter with a woman, Lucille Lucy, from the past. Though Egan and Lucy live in different time periods, and have never met in person, Egan feels that they are very similar, as if looking into a mirror. Egan realizes this common connection through persistent research. Starting with a small “to-do list” of Lucy’s that looked very much like her own, by the end of her research Egan states, “In some ways our worlds fell close together”. Egan is able to identifies Lucy, not only through her research, but also through herself.

  17. torresj12 says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan an essay published in the book Brooklyn Was Mine on January 2008, Egan describes an encounter with herself through the life and love stories of a women named Lucille Lucy.  Lucy’s sassy and outspoken attitude is what spiked Egans immediate interest in her.  Not just falling for her powerful attitude, she connects with Lucy through her belief in racial equality.  This connection between these two women is very extraordinary for the fact they live in completely different eras.  Not even time zones could keep them apart.  Egan says,“In some ways our worlds fell close together” which further describes their relationship.  This is a powerful essay in which we are described how no matter what year you were born or what time you lived in, there are still connections with the past and present. . . . . And who knows maybe even the future.         

  18. darlinhd says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in the book “Brooklyn Was Mine” on January 2008, Egan writes about a young woman named Lucille Kolkin who lived during World War II. Lucy was very much in love with her husband Alfred Kolkin that was serving in the war so she felt that she had to do something as well to help out the country. She worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a hard job for even a male to do but she was a strong woman that was more of a leader than a follower. The whole story is based on the letters that her husband wrote to her and the letters that she wrote back. Egan told the story as if she was present at the time these letters were being sent back and forth so she related to Lucy as if she was her friend.

  19. hmoller says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, a essay published in “Brooklyn was mine” on January 2008. Egan writes about letters she has read written by Lucille Kolkin and how she makes a strong connection with a lucy. Although both are from different time periods Egan mentions she has formed a “powerful friendship”. They were so alike that they both shared some common quality’s including a “to-do list” when looked at both they were very similar as if they were the same person. Egan’s attraction to the letters was so great she was disappointed when she read the last letter and even considered to contact Lucy’s relatives stating “I found myself contemplating tracking down some of her living relative.” This shows that no matter if your of the same age or totally different eras there is always a connection you can make like Egan made with Lucy.

  20. Isaias G. says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay that was published in Brooklyn Was Mine, Egan details her experience while visiting the Brooklyn Historical Society and reading the letters of Lucille (Lucy) Kolkin. As Egan is reading the letters between Lucy and her husband, she begins to form a “brief, powerful friendship” (p.21) with Lucy. This connection becomes so deep that she “sometimes, while crossing or jogging over the Brooklyn Bridge, I (Egan) would actually see Lucy”, though she had passed away in 1997. Egan’s purpose in writing this essay was to demonstrate how the past can still allow us to connect with it, and, in many ways, impact our lives.

  21. Miguel says:

    In “Reading Lucy” by Jennifer Egan, an essay published in Brooklyn Was Mine. Egan writes about her encounter with some of the documents at the Brooklyn Historical Society. She describes to the reader how she formed a “powerful friendship” with fellow Brooklynite Lucille Kolkin, whom she met while conducting research about the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Egan immediately paints an image that the two were actual friends who did in fact meet; as she put it “Lucy and I spent a couple of hours together at the Brooklyn Historical Society every Wednesday and Friday… I say two months, but in Lucy’s life time it was actually five”. Egan continues by revealing some of Lucy’s personal notes and letters to her beloved Alfred. The letters ranged from her work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a mechanic, her social life, but mainly directed towards her husband Alfred. All this documentation of Lucy, a World War 2 era women left a profound impression on Egan. She found her self admiring Lucy more, and her strong women character. Of all that Egan loved about Lucy, what was most interesting to her was the connection between the two. She felt “In some ways our worlds felt close together: we walked the same streets…Like me…”, and asked herself even the simplest things “Who was this women whose to-do list looked so much like mine”. There was a point in which Egan was desperate to meet Lucy when she said “…if I could yank, her physically, from her time into mine”, and when the time came when Lucy’s letters where less she began to wonder not who is this women, but what her life was after the letters stopped till the time she died.

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