the short story project

Emerald City

Our Editors On:

Emerald City by Jennifer Egan

“Emerald City”, the most desired object of dreams, house of the Wizard of Oz, is the city of New York in this story by Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan, “a place that glittered from a distance even when you reached it.” The story, which was published as part of her first collection of short stories in 1996, is dated only in the lack of irony it exhibits toward the glamorous world of the fashion industry and the young people arriving to “make it” in the big city – today it would already be loaded with mounds of double-meanings and sophistication. However, in every other respect it is still subtle, precise and relevant, and this is its power;  Denoting a version that apparently never change but takes on different guises through the years, from Balzac through “Midnight Cowboy” to present-day reality.