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Talk to Me

Talk To Me: Jonathan Franzen Gets Personal

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Novelist and essayist Jonathan Franzen put his private life on public display.

In this 2007 session from BAM's Eat, Drink & Be Literary series, Franzen read from his memoir The Discomfort Zone. In the book, Franzen examined everthing from his childhood growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis to his divorce and obsession with orinthology. The conversation was moderated by former Paris Review editor, and founder of A Public Space, Brigid Hughes.


Stream and download the talk here for free.

(Audio presentation courtesy of the National Book Foundation)

Bon  Mots

On Making Discomfort Fun: "If I know it's something I don't want to write about, fundamentally, that I would rather keep private...then there's a built-in exciting challenge to make it something you want to read."

On Watching Other Birdwatchers Watch Birds: "I wondered why they weren't more ashamed of themselves! Don't you know how ridiculous you look? I do!"

On Marriage: "No one has ever had as weird of a marriage as I have. I'm sure that's not true, but I still think it's a low number of people who have."