Stephanie Honor Convery, a Melbourne-based writer blogs about Franzen's keynote speech at the Melbourne Writers Festival on August 25. She writes, "Citing Kafka as an example, he claimed that the closer a writer gets to accurately portraying those deeper, murkier parts of themselves in their fiction, the less such fiction resembles the narrative of their own life. Read more...
Manju Kak writes an interesting article for Women's Voices for Change, titled Second Read: How Franzen's Freedom Looks to India. She says that what makes Freedom such an important book is the fact that it "typifies" the American middle class for the people that live outside the U.S. Kak lives in New Delhi and is Media in Charge of the All India Women’s Conference.
Student, writer, blogger, and editorial intern at Milkweed Editions, Ann Mayhew has an ambitious summer reading list like most of us.Check out her website readingthroughcollege for a fun post on Jonathan Franzen's Freedom called Freedom to Choose our Great Novels.
Peter Hapak photographed 13 authors including Jonathan Franzen for Time magazine at the annual Pen American Center's World Voices festival.
Top 5 Summer Reads For These Long, Sunny Days.
Freedom- Jonathan Franzen
Just Kids- Patti Smith
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- Rebecca Skloot
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Bossypants- Tina Fey
Lev Grossman, Time Magazine 8/12/10, interviews Jonathan Franzen in his article Jonathan Franzen: Great American Novelist
Blogger Charlie Alderman for the Huffington Post writes in his blog post “Screw Irony: What Jonathan Franzen Learned From David Foster Wallace,” about literary critic, James Woods comparing Franzen to Thomas Pynchon and Zadie Smith as hysterical realists. He argues that the phrase misrepresents Franzen’s two latest books, Freedom and Corrections. Franzen goes so far as to define the Hysterical Realist Movement on his Wikipedia page as “a term coined in 2000 by the English critic James Wood in an essay on Zadie Smith's White Teeth to describe what he sees as a literary genre typified by a strong contrast between elaborately absurd prose, plotting, or characterization and careful, detailed investigations of real specific social phenomena.”
Let me know what you think?
Another interesting article on James Woods here.
July is my month and the book is Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, a fellow St. Louisan. His first book, The Corrections, was about his family life growing up in Webster Groves. He has written many articles and book reviews. I refer you to two recent ones that shed light on the book's themes.
NYT publication of his commencement address at Kenyon College, "Liking is for Cowards. Go For What Hurts." May 28, 2011
New Yorker article he wrote April 11, 2011.
I really urge you to read Freedom. I think it's as important as the critics say. Even Oprah relented from her resentment over the first book (she chose it for her book list and he refused to appear on her show). They were both gracious this time.
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.