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Jonathan Franzen

Author of The Corrections

33+ Works 37,058 Members 1,014 Reviews 103 Favorited

About the Author

Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois on August 17, 1959. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1981, and went on to study at the Freie University in Berlin as a Fulbright scholar. He worked in a seismology lab at Harvard University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences show more after graduation. His works include The Twenty-Seventh City (1988), Strong Motion (1992), How to Be Alone (2002), and The Discomfort Zone (2006). The Corrections (2001) won a National Book Award and the 2002 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Freedom (2010) is an Oprah Book Club selection. He also won a Whiting Writers' Award in 1988 and the American Academy's Berlin Prize in 2000. He is also a frequent contributor to Harper's and The New Yorker. In 2015 his title Purity made The New Yort Times and New Zealand Best Seller List. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Jonathan Franzen Fotograaf: Greg Martin


Works by Jonathan Franzen

Associated Works

The Laughing Policeman (1970) — Introduction, some editions — 1,831 copies
The Man Who Loved Children (1940) — Introduction, some editions — 1,437 copies
Desperate Characters (1970) — Afterword, some editions — 943 copies
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955) — Introduction, some editions — 769 copies
The Complete Peanuts: 1957-1958 Dailies & Sundays (2005) — Introduction — 660 copies
The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Contributor — 627 copies
State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America (2008) — Contributor — 517 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009 (2009) — Contributor — 365 copies
Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker (2000) — Contributor — 356 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1997 (1997) — Contributor — 353 copies
The Best American Essays 2005 (2005) — Contributor — 342 copies
The short end of the Sonnenallee (1995) — Introduction, Translator, some editions — 307 copies
The Best American Essays 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 291 copies
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 290 copies
Granta 54: Best of Young American Novelists (1996) — Contributor — 237 copies
The Best American Essays 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 229 copies
The Best American Essays 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 221 copies
McSweeney's Issue 37 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) (2011) — Contributor — 99 copies
The Best American Magazine Writing 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 69 copies
The New Great American Writers' Cookbook (2003) — Contributor — 21 copies
National Geographic Magazine 2018 v233 #1 January (2018) — Contributor — 13 copies
Conjunctions: 30, Paper Airplane (1998) — Contributor — 11 copies


1001 books (122) 20th century (150) 21st century (215) America (185) American (498) American fiction (178) American literature (546) anthology (309) comics (107) contemporary (154) contemporary fiction (210) crime (124) dysfunctional family (115) ebook (169) essays (1,142) family (672) fiction (4,325) first edition (133) humor (200) Kindle (186) literary fiction (144) literature (434) marriage (173) memoir (174) mystery (225) National Book Award (163) New York (112) non-fiction (679) novel (773) own (166) Parkinson's Disease (113) read (372) relationships (149) Roman (237) short stories (205) signed (126) Sweden (125) to-read (2,170) unread (291) USA (402)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Franzen, Jonathan
Legal name
Franzen, Jonathan Earl
Western Springs, Illinois, USA
Places of residence
New York, New York, USA
Chicago, Illinois, USA
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Berlin, Germany
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Boulder Creek, California, USA
Wayne State University (1979)
Swarthmore College (BA | 1981 | German)
Freie Universität Berlin (1981)
Wallace, David Foster (friend)
Awards and honors
Whiting Writers' Award (1988)
Granta's Best Of Young American Novelists (1996)
Fulbright Scholarship (1981)
American Academy of Arts and Letters (2012)
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2012)
Akademie der Kunste (2010)
Short biography
1959 in Western Springs / Illinois geboren, wuchs in einer Vorstadt von St. Louis auf. 1988 veröffentlichte er den Roman "The Twenty-Seventh City", 1992 "Strong Motion". Für seinen dritten Roman und sensationellen Erfolg "The Corrections" erhielt er 2001 den National Book Award verliehen. Schon vorher hat ihn die Zeitschrift The New Yorker unter die "Twenty Writers for the 21st Century" gerechnet. Jonathan Franzen lebt in New York.



June 2013: The Twenty-Seventh City in Missouri Readers (July 2013)
1001 April Group Read: [The Corrections] in 1001 Books to read before you die (May 2012)


Did Franzen live up to the expectations? No way.
Is it a bad book? Nope.
Should the book have been a lot shorter? Yes.
Did the writer get lost in his own creation? Yep.

The first chapter is strong and introduces a really interesting character, the next 3oo or so pages are a real drag. Good luck with those! Then the books get going and at times Franzen's brilliance shines through, but dear publishers let him do something else please. He didn't have the material for another great American novel, yet.

A novel about a girl called Purity would have been great.
… (more)
Lokileest | 77 other reviews | Apr 2, 2024 |
F***ing hell this is life.
Lokileest | 339 other reviews | Apr 2, 2024 |
Gah. What a giant mess of a book. Franzen got me invested in the characters and then proceeded to punish me for that, by exposing me to every random thought they ever had. His editor needs to be fired - about half of every page could have been cut. I'm going to finish the damn thing and then throw it at him.
gonzocc | 408 other reviews | Mar 31, 2024 |
Definitive proof that fine writers don’t always make fine thinkers.
P1g5purt | Mar 26, 2024 |


My TBR (2)


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