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The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History by [Jonathan Franzen]

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The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 84 ratings

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Product description


'His discreetly devastating comic timing derives from the tension between the optimism of his ambition and the reality of the attempts to deal with the experiences that have marked his career as one America's best novelist and essayist.' Times

'Franzen's memoir is cleverly written and often fun to read…He's funny and self deprecating…' Sunday Telegraph

‘Wonderful and supremely personal…' Time Magazine

'Reading such honest, awkward, tender pieces as these, the socially isolated individual may feel that little bit less lonely.' New Statesman.

'The close of this book is almost miraculous; we are reminded that Franzen, at his best, can write like a dream.' FT Magazine

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From the Back Cover


JAs Jonathan Franzen tells it, he was the kind of boy who was scared of spiders, school, dances, urinals, music teachers, boomerangs, popular girls - and his parents. He had nothing against geeky kids except a desperate fear of being taken for one of them, a fate that would result in instant Social Death. Approaching puberty the way a rookie conman confronts his first scam, he pretended to be a kid who naturally said 'shit' a lot and didn't enjoy calculations on his new six-function Texas Instruments calculator.

The Discomfort Zone is Franzen's story of growing up squirming in his own, über-sensitive skin, from a 'small and fundamentally ridiculous person' through a strangely happy adolescence, into an adult with strong and inconvenient passions. Whether he's writing about the explosive dynamics of a Christian Youth fellowship in the 1970s, the effect of Kafka's fiction on his own protracted quest to lose his virginity, or the web of connections between bird-watching, his all-consuming marriage, and the problem of global warming, Franzen is always engaged with the society that shaped him, and the world we live in now.

His personal history of a Midwestern youth and a New York adulthood is warmed by the same blend of comic scrutiny and affection that characterize his fiction; the result is an arresting portrait of a man, his family, his nation and our time.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00OXG1AJW
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial (19 February 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 787 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 209 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 84 ratings

About the author

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Jonathan Franzen is the author of five novels--Purity, Freedom, The Corrections, The Twenty-Seventh City, and Strong Motion--and five works of nonfiction and translation, including Farther Away, How to Be Alone, and The Discomfort Zone, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the German Akademie der Kunste, and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

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W. Birchall
2.0 out of 5 stars A 'great' American writer?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 September 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical, innovative and playful - I will read this again and again
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 January 2014
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Julian Preece
5.0 out of 5 stars A German Scholar
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 April 2020
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ms laj
3.0 out of 5 stars although generally I love Franzen. Freedom and The Corrections are much better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 February 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 December 2015
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