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About Jonathan Franzen
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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Books By Jonathan Franzen
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A GUARDIAN BEST FICTION BOOK OF 2021
AN INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR
A WHITE REVIEW BOOK OF THE YEAR
A LIT HUB BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
‘His best novel yet … A Middlemarch-like triumph’ Telegraph
Set in a historical moment of moral crisis, Crossroads is the stunning foundation of a sweeping investigation of human mythologies, as the Hildebrandt family navigate the political and social crosscurrents of the past fifty years
It’s December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless – unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem’s sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has sharply veered into the counterculture, while their brilliant younger brother Perry, who’s been selling drugs to seventh-graders, has resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.
Jonathan Franzen’s novels are celebrated for their unforgettably vivid characters and their keen-eyed take on the complexities of contemporary America. Now, for the first time, in Crossroads, Franzen explores the history of a generation. With characteristic humour and complexity, and with even greater warmth, he conjures a world that feels no less immediate.
A tour de force of interwoven perspectives and sustained suspense, Crossroads is the story of a Midwestern family at a historical moment of moral crisis. Jonathan Franzen’s gift for melding the small picture and the big picture has never been more dazzlingly evident.
From the author of ‘Freedom’, a richly realistic and darkly hilarious masterpiece about a family breakdown in an age of easy fixes.
After fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity, and their children have long since fled for the catastrophes of their own lives. As Alfred’s condition worsens and the Lamberts are forced to face their secrets and failures, Enid sets her heart on one last family Christmas.
Bringing the old world of civic virtue and sexual inhibition into violent collision with the era of hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare and globalised greed, ‘The Corrections’ confirms Jonathan Franzen as one of the most brilliant interpreters of the American soul.
“A masterpiece of American fiction”
Sam Tanenhaus, The New York Times Book Review
A novel from the author of The Corrections.
This is the updated version of the text.
This is the story of the Berglunds, their son Joey, their daughter Jessica and their friend Richard Katz. It is about how we use and abuse our freedom; about the beginning and ending of love; teenage lust; the unexpectedness of adult life; why we compete with our friends; how we betray those closest to us; and why things almost never work out as they ‘should’. It is a story about the human heart, and what it leads us to do to ourselves and each other.
In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's intensely realized characters, as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.
The critically acclaimed first novel from Jonathan Franzen, author of the prize winning and internationally bestselling, ‘The Corrections’.
By the author of the bestseller ‘The Corrections’ and the sensational ‘Freedom’, ‘The Twenty-Seventh City’ is a novel of intrigue, humour and fear. St. Louis, Missouri, is a quietly dying river city until it hires a new police chief: a charismatic young woman from Bombay, India, named S. Jammu. No sooner has Jammu been installed, though, than the city's leading citizens become embroiled in an all-pervasive political conspiracy. A classic of contemporary fiction, ‘The Twenty-Seventh City’ shows us an ordinary metropolis turned inside out, and the American Dream unravelling into terror and dark comedy.
A brilliant personal history from the award-winning author of ‘The Corrections’.
Jonathan Franzen, bestselling author of ‘Freedom’ and the highly acclaimed ‘The Corrections’, arrived late, and last, in a family of boys in Webster Groves, Missouri. ‘The Discomfort Zone’ is his intimate memoir of his growth from a ‘small and fundamentally ridiculous person,’ through an adolescence both excruciating and strangely happy, into an adult with embarrassing and unexpected passions. It's also a portrait of a middle-class family weathering the turbulence of the 1970s, and a vivid personal insight into the decades in which America took an angry turn away from its mid-century ideals.
He tells of the effects of Kafka's fiction on Franzen's protracted quest to lose his virginity, the elaborate pranks that he and his friends orchestrated from the roof of his high school, his self-inflicted travails in selling his mother's house after her death, the web of connections between his all-consuming marriage, the problem of global warming, and the life lessons to be learned in watching birds.
Sparkling, daring and arrestingly honest, ‘The Discomfort Zone’ is warmed by the same combination of comic scrutiny and unqualified affection that characterize Franzen's fiction. It narrates the formation of a unique mind and heart in the crucible of an everyday American family.
The critically acclaimed second novel from the author of ‘The Corrections’.
‘Strong Motion’ is the brilliant, bold second novel from the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of ‘The Corrections’ and ‘Freedom’. Louis Holland arrives in Boston in a spring of strange happenings – earthquakes strike the city, and the first one kills his grandmother. During a bitter feud over the inheritance Louis falls in love with Renée Seitchek, a passionate and brilliant seismologist, whose discoveries about the origin of the earthquakes complicate everything. Potent and vivid, ‘Strong Motion’ is a complex story of change from the forceful imagination of Jonathan Franzen.
The climate change is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it.
‘If you care about the planet, and about the people and animals who live on it, there are two ways to think about this. You can keep on hoping that catastrophe is preventable, and feel ever more frustrated or enraged by the world’s inaction. Or you can accept that disaster is coming, and begin to rethink what it means to have hope.’
The honesty and realism of Jonathan Franzen’s writings on climate have been widely denounced and just as widely celebrated. Here, in his definitive statement on the subject, Franzen confronts the world’s failure to avert destabilising climate change and takes up the question: Now what?
The Sunday Times bestseller from the author of Freedom and The Corrections
Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother – her only family – is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she’ll ever have a normal life.
Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with the Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world – including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.
Jonathan Franzen’s Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters – Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers – and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.
Passionate, independent-minded nonfiction from the international bestselling author of ‘The Corrections’.
Jonathan Franzen's ‘Freedom’ was the literary sensation of 2010, whilst ‘The Corrections’ was the best-loved and most written-about novel the previous decade. ‘How to be Alone’, is a collection of the personal essays and painstaking, often humorous reportage that have earned Franzen a wide and loyal readership, including what has come to be known as 'The Harper's Essay', Franzen's controversial 1996 look at the fate of the novel. From the sex-advice industry to the way a supermax prison works, from his father's struggle with Alzheimer's disease to a rueful account of Franzen's brief tenure as an Oprah Winfrey author, each piece wrestles with Franzen's familiar themes: the erosion of civic life and private dignity, and the hidden persistence of loneliness, in postmodern imperial America.
These collected essays record what Franzen calls 'a movement away from an angry and frightened isolation toward an acceptance – even a celebration – of being a reader and a writer.' They voice a wry distrust of the claims of technology and psychology, the love-hate relationship with consumerism, and the subversive belief in the tragic shape of the individual life that help make Franzen one of the sharpest, toughest-minded, and most entertaining social critics at work today.
A sharp and provocative new essay collection from the award-winning author of Freedom and The Corrections
In The End of the End of the Earth, which gathers essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, Jonathan Franzen returns with renewed vigour to the themes – both human and literary – that have long preoccupied him. Whether exploring his complex relationship with his uncle, recounting his young adulthood in New York, or offering an illuminating look at the global seabird crisis, these pieces contain all the wit and disabused realism that we’ve come to expect from Franzen.
Taken together, these essays trace the progress of a unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature and with some of the most important issues of our day, made more pressing by the current political milieu. The End of the End of the Earth is remarkable, provocative and necessary.
The new book of articles and opinion from Jonathan Franzen, author of ‘Freedom’ and ‘The Corrections’.
Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Freedom’ was the runaway most-discussed novel of 2010, an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the 21st century. Now, a new collection of Franzen’s non-fiction brings fresh demonstrations of his vivid, moral intelligence, confirming his status not only as a great American novelist but also as a master noticer, social critic, and self-investigator.
In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, the writer returns with renewed vigor to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen’s implicit promise to conceal nothing from the reader. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day. ‘Farther Away’ is remarkable, provocative, and necessary.
Anatomie d'un mariage et d'une famille, Freedom analyse les illusions, les déceptions et les compromis d'une génération de baby-boomers qui avaient rêvé un jour de changer le monde. Qu'avons-nous fait de notre liberté ? se demandent les personnages de Jonathan Franzen dans ce roman remarquable de virtuosité, miroir d'une nation qui a cessé depuis longtemps d'incarner ses propres valeurs.
Traduit de l'anglais (États-Unis) par Anne Wicke