EssaysBook - 2012
The award-winning author of Freedom presents a collection of recent essays and speeches that consider the human and literary themes that have shaped his life, exploring such topics as a violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, the suicide of David Foster Wallace and the ways in which technology has changed how people express love. 60,000 first printing.
Jonathan Franzen's Freedom was the runaway most-discussed novel of 2010, an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the twenty-first century. In The New York Times Book Review, Sam Tanenhaus proclaimed it "a masterpiece of American fiction" and lauded its illumination, "through the steady radiance of its author's profound moral intelligence, [of] the world we thought we knew."
In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, Franzen returns with renewed vigor to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen's implicit promise to conceal nothing. On a trip to China to see first-hand the environmental devastation there, he doesn't omit mention of his excitement and awe at the pace of China's economic development; the trip becomes a journey out of his own prejudice and moral condemnation. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day. Farther Away is remarkable, provocative, and necessary.
Presents a collection of essays and speeches that consider the human and literary themes that have shaped the author's life, exploring such topics as the suicide of David Foster Wallace, and the ways in which technology has changed how people express love.
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"Privacy, to me, is not about keeping my personal life hidden from other people. It's about sparing me from the intrusion of other people's personal lives. And so, although my very favorite gadgets are actively privacy-enhancing, I look kindly on pretty much any development that doesn't force me to interact with it. " P. 143-4.
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