Streams

The Twenty-Seventh City, by Jonathan Franzen

Thursday, November 21, 2013

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.

Leave your questions for Jonathan Franzen below!

Guests:

Jonathan Franzen

Comments [8]

Lynne

So. Impressed by this man's language skills, and I have visited all the used bookstores around me, I have scored: "Freedom" "The Corrections" and "How To Be Alone." But, I want more. I have become addicted to one man who can make me react to what he is saying.

Nov. 23 2013 08:49 PM
Amy from Manhattan

When Doris Lessing won the Nobel, I thought, "What, she didn't have one already?"

Nov. 21 2013 01:01 PM
Cole from St Louis

Insofar as dodging too much technology, do you still practice your writing via old typewriters as you wrote in How To Be Alone?

Nov. 21 2013 12:59 PM
SUSAN from Pound Ridge NY

Please ask Jonathan Franzen why none of his Ebooks are available for loan from the library. I can only borrow his books on paper.

Nov. 21 2013 12:55 PM
leslie from NJ

Leonard, It must be sort of nerve-wracking to be in the same room as Franzen who to my mind is the best writer of the last 100 years, I have read every single thing he has published, I bought his most recent collection of essays Farther Away 5 months BEFORE it was published (reserved it on line) and I am dying to know when he will be publishing some thing new so I can keep my Franzen collection 100% complete.

Nov. 21 2013 12:51 PM
ann berg from brooklyn

Oops. In my previous comment, I was of course referring to Patty in your book, "Freedom", not your earlier book "The Corrections".

Nov. 21 2013 11:50 AM
ann berg from brooklyn

I am half way through your excellent book "The Corrections". I was wondering why you included Patty being raped in the story? Did that incident contribute to her poor self image and her tendency to make bad decisions for herself?

Thank you.

Nov. 21 2013 11:42 AM
Brian A. from Edison, NJ

Jonathan, you've written effusively about Alice Munro. In an essay a few years ago you chided the Nobel Committee for not giving her a Nobel. What was your reaction when you found out that the Nobel Committee finally listened to your pleas?

Nov. 12 2013 03:16 PM

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