Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Franzen’

Franzen Prefers the Quality of the Printed Word

January 30th, 2012 No comments

Lauded author Jonathan Franzen held the first press conference of his career this week at the Hay Festival, a literature and arts festival held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, where he will serve as a headline speaker. The writer spoke on several weighty topics such as politics and religion, and expressed his thoughts on the inferiority of eBooks, when compared to traditional printed books. “The technology I like is the American paperback edition of Freedom. I can spill water on it and it would still work! So it’s pretty good technology. And what’s more, it will work great 10 years from now. So no wonder the capitalists hate it. It’s a bad business model,” Franzen is reported as saying in The Telegraph.

“I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change. Read more…


Franzenfreude: Valid Criticism or Sour Grapes?

August 30th, 2010 No comments

518lzyVIezL._SL160_Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel, Freedom hits shelves tomorrow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 576pgs), though the media has been furiously buzzing about the title for weeks. The New York Times has published two rave reviews about the tale of a dysfunctional family; Sam Tanenhaus proclaims the books “a masterpiece of American fiction”, while Michiko Kakutani applauds Franzen’s “ability to throw open a big, Updikean picture window on American middle-class life.”  Earlier this month, the author was featured on the cover of Time magazine as a “Great American Novelist”, and President Barack Obama got an early copy of the book to take on a recent vacation. Yet, with all this love, there are some, like authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner, who feel the “Franzenfrenzy” coverage, especially in the New York Times, is overblown and biased. They also feel that the media would do better by focusing on the works of a wide range of authors, with varied backgrounds, instead of one literary star. The pair have turned to Twitter to voice their opinions on the subject using the hashtag #franzenfreude. “Would love to see the NYT rave about authors who aren’t white male literary darlings,” tweeted Picoult. Weiner asked her Twitter followers to suggest “non-Franzen novels about love, identity, families”, such as her pick, Digging to America by Anne Tyler. Read more…