Novelist Jonathan Franzen shares a few of his favorite science fiction books from his high-school days. He also recommends Christina Stead's novel The Man Who Loved Children and Adelle Waldman's debut novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. And he says the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a good place to take a walk and see some birds. Just don't ask him for hot new restaurant recommendations.
Jonathan Franzen has been called one of the most important living fiction writers in America. His 2001 novel The Corrections won the National Book Award and Freedom was named as one the best books of 2010 by Time, the New York Times Book Review, and Publishers Weekly, among publications. We’re going back to his very first novel, The Twenty-Seventh City, written in 1988 and set in his home town, St. Louis. In the novel, St. Louis is a quietly dying city until it hires a charismatic young woman from Bombay, India, as its new police chief. The story predicts a number of shifts that were to come decades later in American life: suburban malaise, surveillance culture, domestic terrorism, and paranoia.
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Studio 360 explores F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and finds out how this compact novel became the great American story of our age. Novelist Jonathan Franzen tells Kurt Andersen why he still reads it every year or two, and writer Patricia Hampl explains why its lightness is deceptive ...
Jonathan Franzen talks about his latest novel, Freedom. It’s an epic of contemporary love and marriage that comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty—the thrills of teenage lust, the compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. It tells the story of Walter and Patty Berglund as they struggle to come to terms with an ever more confusing world.
Ever since Jonathan Franzen wowed the literary world with his 2001 novel The Corrections, he's been hailed as the next great American writer. His latest book Freedom, out in paperback later this month, was another roundly praised bestseller. At this point, Franzen makes it look easy ...
Our extended cut of Kurt's conversation with Jonathan Franzen, in which the novelist talks about the influence of Tolstoy on his writing, and laments being recognized during a trip to the supermarket for sugar-free Jell-O.