How to Be Alone How to Be Alone

How to Be Alone

Essays

    • 3.9 • 58 Ratings
    • $11.99
    • $11.99

Publisher Description

Passionate, strong-minded nonfiction from the National Book Award-winning author of The Corrections

Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections was the best-loved and most-written-about novel of 2001. Nearly every in-depth review of it discussed what became known as "The Harper's Essay," Franzen's controversial 1996 investigation of the fate of the American novel. This essay is reprinted for the first time in How to be Alone, along with the personal essays and the dead-on reportage that earned Franzen a wide readership before the success of The Corrections. Although his subjects range from the sex-advice industry to the way a supermax prison works, each piece wrestles with familiar themes of Franzen's writing: the erosion of civic life and private dignity and the hidden persistence of loneliness in postmodern, imperial America. Recent pieces include a moving essay on his father's stuggle with Alzheimer's disease (which has already been reprinted around the world) and a rueful account of Franzen's brief tenure as an Oprah Winfrey author.

As a collection, these 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." At the same time they show the 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 our sharpest, toughest, and most entertaining social critics.

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
2007
May 15
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
288
Pages
PUBLISHER
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
SELLER
Macmillan
SIZE
2.1
MB

Customer Reviews

Deni6'4" ,

Huge fan…but not of this book.

I am a huge Franzen fan, but not of this particular collection of essays. The selections are mostly from the 90’s (which is not the problem), and I personally found them overly long, wordy and somewhat obsessive in tone. But more to the point, I found them tedious to read. A brilliant writer whose novels I love, but this was too much for me.

budaluna ,

Often overlooked

This little book is just a jewel. While I appreciate Franzen's novels this collection of essays is just right... humorous, timeless, with the right touch of earnestness. I am waiting for another one.

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