Sunday, January 15, 2012


Jonathan Franzen
Newsweek called Franzen “the writer we love to hate,” and the description is apt — he is almost universally acknowledged as one of the greats of our time, the first novelist to appear on the comer of Time in ten years, there’s something off-putting about him. Part of the ’90s literary brat pack that also included David Foster Wallace, Mary Karr, and Jeffrey Eugenides, he routinely challenges the conventional canon even today, once calling Times critic Michiko Kakutani “the stupidest person in New York,” eschewing Oprah’s honors (sometimes), and proclaiming that he doesn’t “understand the fuss” about Graham Greene. Which, ultimately, all comes off as sort of bitchy — not that that fact dampens the public’s fascination with the slightly a-social literary great. He even has his own dark side Twitter handle.

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