10/01/2010 07:04 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jonathan Franzen: 'The Present Is So Present' (VIDEO)

In an interview with PBS's Jeffrey Brown, bestselling author Jonathan Franzen said, "I'm not writing for people in 200 years; I'm trying to create books that the people can connect with based on the experiences they're having right now."

Franzen spoke about his new sensation, "Freedom," and, more specifically, how story is meant to be emblematic of a moment.

"The point is to try to create a compelling experience that the largest number of people possible can interact with, relate to, get lost in," he said. "And the fact that it can be taken as a certain kind of portrait of the time is almost an artifact of that."

Franzen called his new book a "social novel," embracing the widespread attention it has received which, he believes, is indicative of the staying power of the novel.

Brown asked, "Do you fear for the future of the novel?"

In reply, Franzen said, "Not so much. I think the more intense that world gets, the more the novel has the capacity to be that which is a relief from that, that which is an alternative to that."


Subscribe to the Culture Shift email.
Be the most interesting person at your dinner party.