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Freedom (Hardcover)

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Freedom Franzen, Jonathan 1 of 1
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FORMAT: Hardcover
CONDITION:  Brand New
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Learn more about Freedom:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0374158460
ISBN-13: 9780374158460
Sku: 214686293
Publish Date: 8/31/2010
Pages:  562
See more in Family Life
 
The news about Walter Berglund wasn't picked up locally--he and Patty had moved away to Washington two years earlier and meant nothing to St. Paul now--but the urban gentry of Ramsey Hill were not so loyal to their city as not to read the New York Times. (from the first line)
From the National Book Award-winning author of "The Corrections" comes a darkly comedic novel about family. Franzen''s intensely realized characters struggle to learn how to live in an ever-confusing world--one with the temptations and burdens of liberty, the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, and the heavy weight of empire.
Annotation:
Jonathan Franzen follows up his sensational 2001 novel THE CORRECTIONS with the equally hefty, equally rich in characterization, and equally thought-provoking FREEDOM. At the heart of Franzen's book is the story of Patty and Walter Berglund, who at first seem to be the perfect, liberal parents. Educated and conscientious, they contribute to their community and raise two intelligent children. But gradually and with the depth of meaning that few could rival, Franzen begins to tear and tatter their story-book world. As Franzen's tale of the contemporary crisis spreads out addressing gentrification and the business of the Iraq war, readers meet the friends, the neighbors, and the lovers of this complicated and 100% 21st-century American couple. Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 10 Best Books of 2010 and by Publishers Weekly as a 2010 Top 10 Book.Jonathan Franzen follows up his sensational 2001 novel THE CORRECTIONS with the equally hefty, equally rich in characterization, and equally thought-provoking FREEDOM. At the heart of Franzen's book is the story of Patty and Walter Berglund, who at first seem to be the perfect, liberal parents. Educated and conscientious, they contribute to their community and raise two intelligent children. But gradually and with the depth of meaning that few could rival, Franzen begins to tear and tatter their story-book world. As Franzen's tale of the contemporary crisis spreads out addressing gentrification and the business of the Iraq war, readers meet the friends, the neighbors, and the lovers of this complicated and 100% 21st-century American couple.
Author Bio
Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen grew up in a suburb of St. Louis as an awkward introspective child, the son of a stern unemotional father who would eventually die of Alzheimer's, and a fussy mother obsessed with 1950s American status-quo. After working in a Seismology Lab at Harvard, Franzen wrote two well-received but commercially minor novels, THE TWENTY-SEVENTH CITY and STRONG MOTION. In 1996 Franzen wrote an essay for Harper's magazine titled "Perchance to Dream: In the Age of Images, a Reason to Write Novels," that discussed the plight of the American novel in an age of television and film, and particularly mourned the lack of readership for serious "social novels" and novels of ideas such as the works of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo. The essay ended on a hopeful note, with Franzen claiming that the "social novel" needed to combine the formula of the family drama with rigorous intellectual thought, a fusion of popular and highbrow literature. The literary world waited with a mixture of anticipation and doubt until five years later when Franzen's THE CORRECTIONS hit the stands. The book was an unqualified success, a vindication of Franzen's bold claims: it received glowing reviews, won the National Book Award, and became one of the bestselling books of the 21st century. Franzen and THE CORRECTIONS also caused a controversy when it was selected to Oprah's Book Club, but removed from the list after Franzen denounced the "schmaltzy" nature of previous Book Club selections. Since then, Franzen has written primarily nonfiction for The New Yorker and Harper's, often dealing with his relationship with his parents, and has released two collections of non-fiction essays. Franzen's writing is known for its dark, unforgiving take on family, society, and himself, and for his powerful blend of emotional insight and intellectual thought.

Praise

"Passionately imagined, psychologically exacting, and shrewdly satirical, Franzen's spiraling epic exposes the toxic ironies embedded in American middle-class life and reveals just how destructive our muddled notions of entitlement and freedom are and how obviously we squander life and love." (starred review) - Donna Seaman 07/01/2010

"[A] work of total genius: a reminder both of why everyone got so excited about Franzen in the first place and of the undeniable magic -- even today, in our digital end-times -- of the old-timey literary novel." - Sam Anderson 8/15/2010

"Jonathan Franzen's galvanic new novel, FREEDOM, showcases his impressive literary toolkit -- every essential storytelling skill, plus plenty of bells and whistles -- and his ability to throw open a big, Updikean picture window on American middle-class life. With this book, he's not only created an unforgettable family, he's also completed his own transformation from a sharp-elbowed, apocalyptic satirist focused on sending up the socio-economic-political plight of this country into a kind of 19th-century realist concerned with the public and private lives of his characters." - Michiko Kakutani 08/15/2010

"Once again Franzen has fashioned a capacious but intricately ordered narrative that in its majestic sweep seems to gather up every fresh datum of our shared millennial life." - Sam Tanenhaus 09/04/2010

"[Franzen] is the most ambitious novelist of our moment -- not for who he is, but for how he writes, his willingness to explore the emotional depths and complexities of the most apparently mundane lives." - David L. Ulin 08/20/2010

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Hardcover
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0562
Product attributePublisher:   Farrar Straus Giroux
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