Best known for his National Book Award-winning novel The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen is equally adept at turning out elegant essays, social commentary, and cultural criticism.
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New York, New York
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Western Springs, Illinois
B.A., Swarthmore College, 1981; studied as a Fulbright scholar at Freie Universität in Berlin
National Book Award, 2001; Whiting Writer’s Award, 1988; American Academy’s Berlin Prize, 2000; Named one of “Twenty Writers for the 21st Century” by The New Yorker, and one of the “Best American Novelists Under 40" by Granta
Jonathan Franzen's official web site
|The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History|
Jonathan Franzen arrived late, and last, in a family of boys in Webster Groves, Missouri. The Discomfort Zone is his intimate memoir of his growth from a "small and fundamentally ridiculous person," through an adolescence both excruciating and strangely happy, into an adult with embarrassing and unexpected passions.
|In 1996, the British literary magazine Granta announced its "Best American Novelists Under 40," a heavily debated list of what purported to be the States' top 20 writers. The list generated as much criticism as it did attention, but it was also prescient: Franzen, after all, was on that list (well before The Corrections), and so were other now-well-known literary big names.|
|Recommended by Franzen||'More Than Just a Story'|
|You Are Not a Stranger Here|
Franzen picked Haslett's debut story collection as the second book club selection for the Today show. "Adam Haslett is a wonderful rarity: an old-fashioned young storyteller with something urgent and fresh and fiercely intelligent to say," Franzen says.
Looking back on his "death of the social novel" flap, Franzen told the The Atlantic in 2001 that what he had in mind was a book like Catch-22, "which cut deeply enough into the country's consciousness to create its own dictionary entry."
|Photo by Greg Martin||