Книга: Franzen Jonathan «How to be Alone»

How to be Alone

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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.

Издательство: "HarperCollins Publishers" (2004)

ISBN: 978-0-00-715358-9

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Franzen, Jonathan

▪ American author
born Aug. 17, 1959, Western Springs, Ill., U.S.

      American novelist and essayist whose sprawling, multilayered novels about contemporary America elicited critical acclaim.

      Franzen grew up in Webster Groves, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, and later attended Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa. After earning a B.A. in 1981, he attended Berlin's Freie Universität as a Fulbright fellow. Upon his return to the United States he began his first novel, writing for eight hours each day. To earn money he worked weekends as a research assistant at Harvard University tracking earthquake activity around the world.

      Franzen based his debut novel, The Twenty-seventh City (1988), in a fictional St. Louis. It envisions a dystopic city, primarily populated by Asian immigrants, where police use violence to intimidate political opponents of the power-hungry police chief. Franzen's second novel, Strong Motion (1992), draws on the author's experience working in the field of seismology. Set in Boston, it tells of a Harvard seismologist who discovers a link between unexplained earthquakes and the disposal of chemical waste.

      Franzen worked for eight years on his next novel, The Corrections (2001), which focuses on a family of five whose members endure unsuccessful marriages, strained familial relationships, and failed careers. The novel received extensive critical praise, winning a National Book Award (National Book Awards) in 2001. That same year the novel was at the centre of a dispute between American television talk-show host Oprah Winfrey (Winfrey, Oprah), who selected it for her widely popular book club, and Franzen, who dismissed her previous selections as unsophisticated.

      Following the deaths of his parents and the dissolution of his marriage, Franzen contributed a series of essays to The New Yorker magazine that were later compiled into his fourth book, How to Be Alone (2002). The volume's 13 essays cover topics as varied as dealing with his father's Alzheimer disease and his thoughts on conformity and privacy. Franzen published a memoir, The Discomfort Zone, in 2006 and a translation of German dramatist Frank Wedekind (Wedekind, Frank)'s play Spring Awakening in 2007.

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Источник: Franzen, Jonathan

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