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Jonathan Franzen

12 Literary Families to Invite Over for Thanksgiving

Off The Shelf | Posted 11.25.2015 | Books
Off The Shelf

Thanksgiving means more than just turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Our favorite part of the holiday is spending it with our families. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are 12 literary families that will make you love your own family even more.

Is Michel Houellebecq The French Jonathan Franzen?

The Huffington Post | Claire Fallon | Posted 11.10.2015 | Arts

I have a small confession to make: I have never read the books of Karl Ove Knausgaard. I’d be embarrassed to admit this, save that Knausgaard&...

Who Needs "Likable" Characters? Not Jonathan Franzen, or Me

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 09.05.2015 | Books
Pamela Feinsilber

I really perked up when the conversation turned to the notion of likability. Who says we have to like a character? Yet Franzen claims that "the safest thing" in writing fiction is not caring what the reader wants, in the sense of realizing, "Not everyone will like this guy."

So, Should You Read Jonathan Franzen's New Book, 'Purity'?

The Huffington Post | Maddie Crum | Posted 08.26.2015 | Arts

Arguably the most anticipated novel coming out this fall is Jonathan Franzen's Purity, the story of a young girl who tries to work for the Internet b...

Jonathan Franzen Demonstrates His Spirit Animal Is Lucille Bluth

The Huffington Post | Claire Fallon | Posted 08.21.2015 | Arts

In a recent interview with The Guardian's Alison Flood promoting his hefty new novel, Purity, Jonathan Franzen made a startling admission. As Flo...

For Novelists, Success Is Not Monetary

Steven Petite | Posted 07.17.2015 | Books
Steven Petite

We live in a world where success is considered to be directly correlated to the amount of commas in a person's bank account, and to some degree, success and monetary returns are tangentially related.

The Highly Intelligent, Creative, Self-Destructive White Male in Literature and Film

Steven Petite | Posted 06.26.2015 | Entertainment
Steven Petite

While it is a blatant distortion of how the world really operates, when trying to assess why these characters, who quite obviously resemble real life counterparts as well, say the things they do and live the lives they live when they have so much potential, the answer becomes complicated.

What Editors and Booksellers Are Reading This Summer

Joseph Olshan | Posted 06.24.2015 | Books
Joseph Olshan

If you're an editor like myself, you have a lot of manuscripts to read. If you're a bookseller, you've got to stay on top of what's being published. This summer it seems like most of the editors and booksellers I know are reading A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara's second novel.

We Are All Neoliberals Now: The New Genre of Plastic Realism in American Fiction

Anis Shivani | Posted 06.12.2015 | Books
Anis Shivani

More than a decade after the first strong signals of the collapse (or at least the twilight) of the American empire, there is yet to be a melancholic reckoning with the decline of empire.

Maddie Crum

Jonathan Franzen Explains Why He Hates The Internet | Maddie Crum | Posted 05.28.2015 | Arts

In an interview with Salon co-founder Laura Miller, Jonathan Franzen fidgeted a little in his seat. Miller was asking him about Purity, his anticipate...

Sexist Jonathan Franzen Bashes Edith Wharton

Lev Raphael | Posted 10.17.2015 | Women
Lev Raphael

Planning to teach Wharton soon, I took another look at Franzen's New Yorker hatchet job on Edith Wharton, and it was worse than I remembered. The critics' darling praises her classics The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and The Age of Innocence but grossly misreads her character and her life.

Why Short Stories Matter Now More Than Ever

Steven Petite | Posted 06.18.2015 | Books
Steven Petite

If F. Scott Fitzgerald was alive today and writing, his income would be roughly half a million dollars a year. In his prime writing days, Fitzgerald was pulling in well over ten thousand dollars a year on short stories alone.

Angry Birds

Sean Carman | Posted 06.11.2015 | Green
Sean Carman

Franzen's essay deserved a more considered and respectful response. The issues he raised are complicated and important. They deserve our careful reflection, not hit pieces from angry content editors on the web sites of prominent environmental organizations.


Mary Ellen Hannibal | Posted 06.09.2015 | Green
Mary Ellen Hannibal

I have to be thankful to Jonathan Franzen for one thing -- he's pushed me out of my blog blues. His essay in the New Yorker about why we can ignore climate change so misses all the basic, important points about what is going on in nature that here I am, clicking away again.

Should Saving Birds Trump Climate Change?

Carol Pierson Holding | Posted 06.07.2015 | Green
Carol Pierson Holding

Mr. Franzen, put your considerable talent to work again and this time, persuade your readers to think of both species conservation and climate change with every action. Changing human behavior has worked in the past and can work now.

What Exactly Is a Man Crush?

Steven Petite | Posted 10.28.2014 | Comedy
Steven Petite

If you are a female reading this, chances are your significant other has a man crush on at least one male or more. These crushes do not mean that your man desires his man crush in the way he desires you, though.

Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone In Our Techno-Consumer Culture

The WorldPost | Nathan Gardels | Posted 11.26.2014 | World

Jonathan Franzen is a novelist and author of "Freedom" and "The Corrections." He spoke with Nathan Gardels, editor of The WorldPost, about his most re...

Jennifer Weiner Is a Genius at Self-Promotion

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.08.2014 | Books
Lev Raphael

How many authors of commercial fiction do you know who get huge, glowing profiles in the New Yorker? Well, Jennifer Weiner just did, as she continues to ride her successful hobbyhorse about not getting respect.

Not All Glitz and Glam: The Movies That Moved Me in 2013

Antonia Cereijido | Posted 03.02.2014 | College
Antonia Cereijido

All the films I've mentioned deal with the idea of projection. The characters ask themselves: What kind of image am I projecting? How do people see me?

Biggest Literary Feuds Of 2013 | Posted by Rachel Arons | Posted 12.09.2013 | Books

As 2013 draws to a close, we give you our second-annual look at the scuffles, controversies, and feisty debates that have helped keep the literary wor...

Four Novelists on Their Favorite, Worst and Unintentionally Funny Tweets

TueNight | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books

Who among us hasn't lost a few good hours to looking at the vacation pictures of someone you hardly remember from high school? You could have banged out a few pages in that time. Still, I have been surprised to find some very talented novelists who show up regularly in my Twitter feed.

He Gave Prague Castle the Bird

Francis Levy | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Francis Levy

Life is Elsewhere is the title of a novel by the Czech, novelist, dissident and pornosopher Milan Kundera, The title was taken from an expression graf...

Snowden Didn't Take Away Our Privacy, But We Can Still Reclaim It

Gloria Yu | Posted 12.29.2013 | Politics
Gloria Yu

In light of the fact that our behavior fails to align with our purported principles, we are compelled to reassess the value of privacy to American life and what we can do if we hope to reclaim it.

Name-Callers, Deniers and Writer Sexism: Which Side Are You On, Guys?

Randy Susan Meyers | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Randy Susan Meyers

Why do some folks get in such an uproar when women simply ask for a fair shake, equal footing? Why does anyone think women writers are exempt from institutional sexism?

The Rise of the New Book

Jeff Klima | Posted 11.27.2013 | Books
Jeff Klima

So desperate and hungry were people for accessible fiction that "speaks their language," they turned a bastardized Twilight f**kfest fan-fiction turnip into a pop culture phenomenon. Imagine how well something as sexy as a contemporary Tropic of Cancer or Lolita would do in this day and age?