Similar authors to follow
Manage your follows
About Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen is the author of five novels--Purity, Freedom, The Corrections, The Twenty-Seventh City, and Strong Motion--and five works of nonfiction and translation, including Farther Away, How to Be Alone, and The Discomfort Zone, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the German Akademie der Kunste, and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Customers Also Bought Items By
Jonathan Franzen’s gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.
It’s December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless—unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem’s sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has sharply veered into the counterculture, while their brilliant younger brother Perry, who’s been selling drugs to seventh graders, has resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.
Jonathan Franzen’s novels are celebrated for their unforgettably vivid characters and for their keen-eyed take on contemporary America. Now, in Crossroads, Franzen ventures back into the past and explores the history of two generations. With characteristic humor and complexity, and with even greater warmth, he conjures a world that resonates powerfully with our own.
A tour de force of interwoven perspectives and sustained suspense, its action largely unfolding on a single winter day, Crossroads is the story of a Midwestern family at a pivotal moment of moral crisis. Jonathan Franzen’s gift for melding the small picture and the big picture has never been more dazzlingly evident.
Jonathan Franzen's third novel, The Corrections, is a great work of art and a grandly entertaining overture to our new century: a bold, comic, tragic, deeply moving family drama that stretches from the Midwest at mid-century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe in the age of greed and globalism. Franzen brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty, of Cub Scouts and Christmas cookies and sexual inhibitions, into brilliant collision with the modern absurdities of brain science, home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare, and the anti-gravity New Economy. With The Corrections, Franzen emerges as one of our premier interpreters of American society and the American soul.
Enid Lambert is terribly, terribly anxious. Although she would never admit it to her neighbors or her three grown children, her husband, Alfred, is losing his grip on reality. Maybe it's the medication that Alfred takes for his Parkinson's disease, or maybe it's his negative attitude, but he spends his days brooding in the basement and committing shadowy, unspeakable acts. More and more often, he doesn't seem to understand a word Enid says.
Trouble is also brewing in the lives of Enid's children. Her older son, Gary, a banker in Philadelphia, has turned cruel and materialistic and is trying to force his parents out of their old house and into a tiny apartment. The middle child, Chip, has suddenly and for no good reason quit his exciting job as a professor at D------ College and moved to New York City, where he seems to be pursuing a "transgressive" lifestyle and writing some sort of screenplay. Meanwhile the baby of the family, Denise, has escaped her disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain of an affair with a married man--or so Gary hints.
Enid, who loves to have fun, can still look forward to a final family Christmas and to the ten-day Nordic Pleasurelines Luxury Fall Color Cruise that she and Alfred are about to embark on. But even these few remaining joys are threatened by her husband's growing confusion and unsteadiness. As Alfred enters his final decline, the Lamberts must face the failures, secrets, and long-buried hurts that haunt them as a family if they are to make the corrections that each desperately needs.
Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter—environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man—she was doing her small part to build a better world.
But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz—outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival—still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become "a very different kind of neighbor," an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes?
In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Notable Book
“So funny, so sage and above all so incandescently intelligent” (The Chicago Tribune), the New York Times bestseller Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder, a daring and penetrating book from “the most intelligent novelist of [his] generation” (The New Republic), Jonathan Franzen
Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother--her only family--is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she'll ever have a normal life.
Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world--including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.
Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters--Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers--and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.
Louis Holland arrives in Boston in a spring of ecological upheaval (a rash of earthquakes on the North Shore) and odd luck: the first one kills his grandmother. Louis tries to maintain his independence, but falls in love with a Harvard seismologist whose discoveries about the earthquakes' cause complicate everything.
Passionate, strong-minded nonfiction from the National Book Award-winning author of The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections was the best-loved and most-written-about novel of 2001. Nearly every in-depth review of it discussed what became known as "The Harper's Essay," Franzen's controversial 1996 investigation of the fate of the American novel. This essay is reprinted for the first time in How to be Alone, along with the personal essays and the dead-on reportage that earned Franzen a wide readership before the success of The Corrections. Although his subjects range from the sex-advice industry to the way a supermax prison works, each piece wrestles with familiar themes of Franzen's writing: the erosion of civic life and private dignity and the hidden persistence of loneliness in postmodern, imperial America. Recent pieces include a moving essay on his father's stuggle with Alzheimer's disease (which has already been reprinted around the world) and a rueful account of Franzen's brief tenure as an Oprah Winfrey author.
As a collection, these essays record what Franzen calls "a movement away from an angry and frightened isolation toward an acceptance--even a celebration--of being a reader and a writer." At the same time they show the wry distrust of the claims of technology and psychology, the love-hate relationship with consumerism, and the subversive belief in the tragic shape of the individual life that help make Franzen one of our sharpest, toughest, and most entertaining social critics.
UNA HISTORIA EXCEPCIONAL SOBRE LA VIDA DE UNA FAMILIA AMERICANA DE LOS AÑOS SETENTA
«Encrucijadas es una novela excelente, la mejor de Franzen.»
«Cada novela de Jonathan Franzen es un acontecimiento literario.»
«Una saga familiar con el aroma de la gran literatura.»
En vísperas de las Navidades del año 1971, en Chicago se anuncia una gran nevada.
Russ Hildebrandt, pastor en una iglesia progresista de un barrio residencial, está a punto de liberarse de un matrimonio que considera desdichado, salvo que su esposa, Marion, que también tiene sus secretos, se le anticipe.
Clem, el primogénito, viene de la universidad infundido de un moralismo extremo que loha hecho tomar una decisión que causará estragos. Su hermana Becky, hasta entonces la reina de su clase en el instituto, ha virado bruscamente hacia la contracultura. El tercer hijo, el brillante Perry, que se ha dedicado a vender droga a sus compañeros de curso, se ha propuesto volverse mejor persona. Mientras que el más pequeño, Jay, intenta abrirse camino entre la incertidumbre y el asombro. Así, todos los Hildebrandt persiguen una libertad que los demás miembros de la familia, cada uno por su cuenta, amenazan con coartar.
La crítica ha dicho...
«Una obra muy absorbente, divertida, lacerante y, por momentos, sorprendentemente edificante. En una palabra: exquisita.»
«Franzen regresa con una visión panorámica y magistral del vigoroso mundo cultural de los años setenta en Estados Unidos. [...] Un libro irresistible.»
«Probablemente, Jonathan Franzen sea el mejor novelista estadounidense del momento.»
The New Republic
«Franzen [...] probablemente haya logrado escribir su obra maestra definitiva. Y tendrá continuidad.»
25th Anniversary Edition
Picador Modern Classics
Published in 1988, Jonathan Franzen's The Twenty-Seventh City is the debut novel of a writer who would come to define our times.
St. Louis, Missouri, is a quietly dying river city until it hires a new police chief: a charismatic young woman from Bombay, India, named S. Jammu. No sooner has Jammu been installed, though, than the city's leading citizens become embroiled in an all-pervasive political conspiracy. Set in mid-1980s, The Twenty-Seventh City predicts every unsettling shift in American life for the next two decades: suburban malaise, surveillance culture, domestic terrorism, paranoia. A classic of contemporary fiction, The Twenty-Seventh City shows us an ordinary metropolis turned inside out, and the American Dream unraveling into terror and dark comedy.
A sharp and provocative new essay collection from the award-winning author of Freedom and The Corrections
The essayist, Jonathan Franzen writes, is like “a fire-fighter, whose job, while everyone else is fleeing the flames of shame, is to run straight into them.” For the past twenty-five years, even as his novels have earned him worldwide acclaim, Franzen has led a second life as a risk-taking essayist. Now, at a moment when technology has inflamed tribal hatreds and the planet is beset by unnatural calamities, he is back with a new collection of essays that recall us to more humane ways of being in the world.
Franzen’s great loves are literature and birds, and The End of the End of the Earth is a passionate argument for both. Where the new media tend to confirm one’s prejudices, he writes, literature “invites you to ask whether you might be somewhat wrong, maybe even entirely wrong, and to imagine why someone else might hate you.” Whatever his subject, Franzen’s essays are always skeptical of received opinion, steeped in irony, and frank about his own failings. He’s frank about birds, too (they kill “everything imaginable”), but his reporting and reflections on them—on seabirds in New Zealand, warblers in East Africa, penguins in Antarctica—are both a moving celebration of their beauty and resilience and a call to action to save what we love.
Calm, poignant, carefully argued, full of wit, The End of the End of the Earth provides a welcome breath of hope and reason.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
The Discomfort Zone is Jonathan Franzen's tale of growing up, squirming in his own über-sensitive skin, from a "small and fundamentally ridiculous person," into an adult with strong inconvenient passions. Whether he's writing about the explosive dynamics of a Christian youth fellowship in the 1970s, the effects of Kafka's fiction on his protracted quest to lose his virginity, or the web of connections between bird watching, his all-consuming marriage, and the problem of global warming, Franzen is always feelingly engaged with the world we live in now. The Discomfort Zone is a wise, funny, and gorgeously written self-portrait by one of America's finest writers.
Jonathan Franzen's Freedom was the runaway most-discussed novel of 2010, an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the twenty-first century. In The New York Times Book Review, Sam Tanenhaus proclaimed it "a masterpiece of American fiction" and lauded its illumination, "through the steady radiance of its author's profound moral intelligence, [of] the world we thought we knew."
In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, Franzen returns with renewed vigor to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen's implicit promise to conceal nothing. On a trip to China to see first-hand the environmental devastation there, he doesn't omit mention of his excitement and awe at the pace of China's economic development; the trip becomes a journey out of his own prejudice and moral condemnation. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day. Farther Away is remarkable, provocative, and necessary.
«Crossroads diverte, strugge, a tratti inaspettatamente rinfranca lo spirito: è un'opera perfetta».
Sono i giorni dell'Avvento dell'anno 1971, a New Prospect, Chicago, ma la famiglia Hildebrandt non sembra ansiosa di festeggiare il Natale. Russ, pastore di una chiesa locale, desidera un unico regalo: passare qualche ora in compagnia di Frances Cottrell, una giovane, adorabile parrocchiana che mette a dura prova la sua fede e il suo matrimonio. Sua moglie Marion sa che i tempi turbolenti non garantiscono la stabilità coniugale, e teme che i brutti segreti che ha sempre nascosto a Russ stiano per venire a galla. Rifiutando il pacifismo del padre, Clem, il figlio piú grande, vuole partire volontario per il Vietnam, non perché non sia lui stesso pacifista, ma perché non sopporta di essere un ragazzo bianco privilegiato. Sua sorella Becky, la ragazza piú popolare della scuola, sta cercando di attirare l'attenzione di Dio e insieme quella di un giovane cantante folk, Tanner Evans, il primo che a New Prospect si è fatto crescere i capelli e ha iniziato a indossare pantaloni a zampa d'elefante. Per impressionare Tanner e irritare suo padre, Becky è entrata in un gruppo giovanile, Crossroads, animato da un altro pastore, Rick Ambrose, figura carismatica e manipolatrice, e bestia nera di Russ. Del gruppo fa parte anche il terzo figlio, Perry, un adolescente problematico e geniale, che per Natale ha deciso di smetterla per sempre con la marijuana e diventare un bravo ragazzo: ma non sempre i buoni propositi producono i risultati voluti. Da Natale fino alla Pasqua successiva, ognuno degli Hildebrandt sognerà per sé una vita diversa, un nuovo amore o un antico amore ritrovato, o una qualche sostanza stupefacente che metta a tacere i campanelli d'allarme. Il matrimonio di Russ e Marion era iniziato vent'anni prima, per entrambi nel segno della rinascita dopo una caduta. Ora un'eredità sgradita, scritta nei geni, chiede d'essere riscossa, riducendo in cenere sogni e speranze. Richiedendo lo sforzo di tutti per una nuova, difficile rifondazione. Crossroads è un romanzo intenso e trascinante, a tratti comico, a tratti drammatico e pieno di dolore, che segna il ritorno di Franzen nel cuore del cuore del paese, il Midwest delle Correzioni, e lo conferma come lo scrittore di punta della sua generazione.