New Book Coming From Jonathan Franzen


Jonathan Franzen’s fans will have plenty to read next year. There’s a forthcoming biography of the author by Philip Weinstein, an English professor at Swarthmore College. And in September, Franzen’s fifth novel, “Purity” will hit the shelves.

“Purity” is a multigenerational American epic spanning decades and continents. The story centers on a young woman named Purity Tyler, or Pip, who doesn’t know who her father is and sets out to uncover his identity. The narrative stretches from contemporary America to South America to East Germany before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and hinges on the mystery of Pip’s family history.

The novel also marks a stylistic departure for Franzen. His publisher commented, “There’s a kind of fabulist quality to it. “It’s not strict realism. There’s a kind of mythic undertone to the story.”

Weinstein’s biography, titled “Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage,” will explore “Franzen’s metamorphoses as a person and as a writer” and includes an analysis of “Purity.” It was written with Franzen’s consent and cooperation Weinstein said.

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