Farther Away: Essays

Front Cover
Macmillan, Apr 24, 2012 - Literary Collections - 336 pages
17 Reviews

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.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - byebyelibrary - LibraryThing

Franzen essays are about birds, literature, David Foster Wallace and anti-consumerism. He is able to precisely explain what he likes about literature --pure storytelling, an absence of faux literary ... Read full review

Review: Farther Away

User Review  - KarmA1966 - Goodreads

An uneven book of essays from Franzen. The best are among the best essays you'll read. My two favorites are the title piece and the one on autobiographical fiction. I first read Farther Away (the ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Jonathan Franzen is the author of four novels (Freedom, The Corrections, Strong Motion, and The Twenty-Seventh City), a collection of essays (How to Be Alone), a personal history (The Discomfort Zone), and a translation of Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening, all published by FSG. He lives in New York City and Santa Cruz, California.

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