Jonathan Franzen Wants You To Like Him

This week in the Barnes & Noble Review, I take a look at Jonathan Franzen’s latest collection of essays, Farther Away, and his complicated relationship with David Foster Wallace.
Jonathan Franzen wants you to like him. In “Mr. Difficult,” a 2002 New Yorker essay, Franzen identifies two types of authorship: the Status model, devoted to the pursuit [...]

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Reading in Tongues: Peter Stamm’s Seven Years

Note: “Reading in Tongues” is a very occasional feature on the experience of reading in a foreign language.
The longlist for the Best Translated Book Award was announced today, and I was pleased to see Seven Years by Peter Stamm—which I’d just read at a sloth-like crawl in the German—among the contenders.  I’d been curious about [...]

Of Dating and Derrida: Jeffrey Eugenides’s Marriage Plot

Fall has arrived, the season of weighty novels. Much like Freedom did this time last year The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides, has launched our annual referendum on The Novel in the 21st Century.  As Evan Hughes noted in a moving piece on their generation of writers, Eugenides and Franzen are both working in the gaping [...]

Freedom’s Dark Double: David Grossman’s To the End of the Land

David Grossman’s To the End of the Land has the improbable distinction of being the second novel in as many months to make me cry.  (I should qualify this by saying that I rarely weep over anything so serious as novels; I usually reserve my tears for sitcoms.)  The other was Freedom. These twin totems [...]

Mill in Minnesota: Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom

The ruckus caused by the arrival of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom in the weeks before it even hit stores is already well documented.  There was the Great Future of Fiction debate, the Great Chauvinism debate, and the proclamations of uncompromised Greatness.  Part of me is already sick of hearing about it, but that hardly seems fair [...] reputable online casinos australia