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Publisher Description

A New York Times bestselling magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom

Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother--her only family--is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she'll ever have a normal life.

Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world--including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.

Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters--Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers--and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.

Fiction & Literature
September 1
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Customer Reviews

dmart7777 ,


Franzen is a masterful author and he tells an engrossing story with many layers and surprises. At times I thought that the plot became subordinate to the various themes - clearly that was his desire, and as I entered the last 100 pages, I came to accept and embrace his narrative on his terms.

I thought the ending was satisfying and it left me hopeful for the central characters - I hate it when a really good, long read ends with a "poof" - this book did not disappoint.

JudyTApple ,


Loved it. It just got me through a week of being “sheltered in place” during the Covid 19 pandemic. It was Iike a movie I couldn’t wait to get back to. I was raised in the SF East Bay and have lived in Santa Cruz for many years so I enjoyed all the local references. Absorbing and distracting which is just what I needed. Mr. Franzen continues to be one of my favorite writers.

Malinki42 ,

Book is not downloadable

Can't download it to my iPad (latest IOS).

Two years later: same problem. No help from Apple Tech Support.


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