Posts Tagged: jonathan franzen

What to Read When You Need to Understand Corrupt Families

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As we wait for the latest Trump crisis-slash-scandal to shake out, here is a list of great books about terrible families.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #84: Susan DeFreitas

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Picture this: a curbside juggler with a rose between his teeth. That’s the opening image of Susan DeFreitas’s powerful debut novel, Hot Season. Vivid (and sometimes strange) images strike again and again, conjuring ponderosa pines, cafés, old houses, and new characters. The book is firmly set in the fictional town of Crest Top, Arizona, and […]

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Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living edited by Manjula Martin

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Today in Rumpus Books, Elizabeth Stark reviews Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living, edited by Manjula Martin.

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The Rumpus Interview with D. Foy

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D. Foy discusses his latest novel, Patricide, the evolution of “gutter opera,” his writing process, free will, and memes.

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Literary Layers

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In her review of Cynthia Ozick’s new essay collection, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays, Zoe Heller quotes Ozick quoting Lionel Trilling in reference to Jonathan Franzen’s commercial-literary ambition: “a writer must ‘direct his words to his spiritual ancestors, or to posterity, or even, if need be, to a coterie.’” Heller is interested in […]

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Kids Books All Grown-Up

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…like Franzen’s novels, the Berenstain Bear books might meander, reveling in details alternately informative and irrelevant, but ultimately they’re straightforward tales about family. (Also, as a friend pointed out to me recently, JFran sort of looks like a Berenstain Bear. This can’t be coincidental.) At The Millions, Edan Lepucki compares children’s books to their grown-up counterparts.

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Michel Tournier and the Novel of Ideas

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Do novels think?

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Neil Gaiman Versus China

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The Guardian reports that Neil Gaiman has added his name to a letter urging China’s president Xi Jinping to release dissident writers “languishing in jail for the crime of expressing their opinions.” In addition to Gaiman, several other famed authors, including Jonathan Franzen and Jennifer Eagan, have contributed to the effort, calling for “immediate steps to defend and protect […]

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Notable NYC: 9/19–9/25

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Saturday 9/19: Jami Attenberg, Lauren Groff, Alice Sola Kim, Sara Novic, Chinelo Okparanta, and Julia Pierpont join Mellow Pages Library Summer Vacation for a blowout bookend event. Silent Barn, 2 p.m., Free. Marie Buck, Laura Elrick, Luke McMullan, and Rachel Warriner are hosted by Sophie Seita for reading of assorted poetry. Unnameable Books, 7 p.m., […]

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Rewrite, Reboot, Remix

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Rewriting the classics has become a stale and risk-averse strategy. But that shouldn’t spoil the fun of our larger culture of remixing.

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The Rumpus Interview with Etgar Keret

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Writer Etgar Keret talks about his new memoir The Seven Good Years, the early criticism he faced as a writer, and the surreal that is always waiting.

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Irony Genius Vs. Realism Hero

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If Franzen is our genius realist, and DFW our genius postmodernist — how might they meld irony and sincerity? In an excerpt over at Salon from his new book, Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic Life, Eric G. Wilson talks irony, realism, postmodernism, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Franzen.

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Franzen Continues…

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Wait, he’s not done yet. Franzen talks birds, climate change, and religion with Salon: I think more broadly, there has been a general trend in the environmental movement over the last couple of decades to try to learn to speak the language of economics and capitalism and human values, things like ecosystem services. I’m not […]

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Save the Birds: A Rumpus Roundup

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Jonathan Franzen is an avid bird lover, as anyone who read Freedom might have guessed. Two weeks ago, Franzen wrote a piece for the New Yorker that, among other things, condemned the Audubon Society for focusing too much on climate change and not enough on conservation, the society’s original mission. Focusing on climate change is […]

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The Freedom of Fiction

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At Booth, Susan Lerner interviews Jonathan Franzen about a range of subjects including the influence of the YA novel, social media, and the different “forms of exploration” associated with essays and fiction. On the latter subject Franzen says: I think fiction is the genre better suited to exploration. Essay is reporting, in a sense. There are […]

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All Aboard

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My aspiration to spend time at sea as requisite literary training died long ago, as a teenager, on a white-knuckled ferry ride to Elba during a torrential rainstorm. Not only was I seasick, I saw the population on board as hostile competitors to salvation. As the ferry lurched and rolled, we gave one another dirty […]

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