Jonathan Franzen Essays

Jonathan Franzen Essays-50
Using the royalties from The Twenty-Seventh City, Franzen and Cornell traveled throughout Europe and hoped to mend their relationship.While in Europe, Franzen began work on Strong Motion.

Using the royalties from The Twenty-Seventh City, Franzen and Cornell traveled throughout Europe and hoped to mend their relationship.While in Europe, Franzen began work on Strong Motion.

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The ensuing spat prompted Winfrey to withdraw her invitation to him to appear on her show, further spreading the belief among critics that Franzen is a haughty, self-important literary elitist.

Franzen apologized for misrepresenting his intent in interviews, claiming that he was unaccustomed to the level of attention that came with being recognized by Winfrey.

In 1987 he submitted an 1,100 page manuscript that, with a great deal of paring, eventually became The Twenty-Seventh City.

Hailed by critics as a writer of great promise, Franzen emerged as a literary celebrity due to his young age and lack of credentials, but his marriage began to suffer.

Biographical Information Franzen was born in 1959 in Western Springs, Illinois. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, Missouri, and Franzen grew up there—a locale which later became the setting for two of his novels.

He attended Swarthmore College near Philadelphia, earning a bachelor's degree in German in 1981, and spent the following year at the Freie Universität in Berlin as a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship.

Winner of the 2001 National Book Award for The Corrections (2001), Franzen is regarded as one of the best emerging novelists of the twenty-first century.

A strong believer in both the power and necessity of literature, Franzen has produced three novels which have identified him as a growing presence in the literary world and an articulate voice in the ongoing debate over the evolving direction of fiction.

Franzen's supporters, among them author Don De Lillo, commended his courage in remaining true to his beliefs while refusing to take part in the mass commercialization that the Oprah label would bestow.

Others, however, accused him of espousing the notion that literature is intended to appeal solely to literati who are able to appreciate “high art.” Whatever Franzen's true intentions, the lingering controversy gave The Corrections new life and it remained atop the bestseller list for months.

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