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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Franzen’

Serious Novels Imagined as Children’s Books on Tumblr

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Imagine Cormac McCarthy‘s The Road, Michael Chabon‘s The Wonder Boys and Jonathan Franzen‘s The Corrections told through drawings in a children’s book.

Jerry Puryear has done  just this. He has created a Tumblr page called Misguided Paeans, which is dedicated to children’s book adaptations of serious adult novels. ”A poorly advised amalgam of literary fiction and children’s books,” explains Puryear on the website.

The regularly updated  collection is very entertaining and worth checking out.  (Via Slate).

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Jonathan Franzen’s Favorite Graph of the Year Addresses Bird Mortality

nssfThe Washington Post asked Jonathan Franzen his favorite chart of the year. He chose a pie chart about the causes of bird mortality created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The organization put together the graphic to illustrate that lead ingestion plays a very minor role in the death for birds, despite criticism. Here is more about the graphic from The Post:

What’s striking about the pie chart is how big a slice of it consists of predation by free-roaming cats. A large new peer-reviewed study published in 2013 estimates the number of North American birds killed by cats at well over one billion per year.  Bells on collars don’t help. Neutering feral cats doesn’t work. Keeping cats indoors helps.

Gary Shteyngart & James Franco Play a Married Couple in the ‘Little Failure’ Book Trailer

littleHave you ever imagined bestselling author Gary Shteyngart and Academy Award-nominated actor James Franco as a married couple?

In a book trailer promoting Shteyngart’s forthcoming memoir, Little Failure, viewers will see the two men in matching pink bathrobes discussing the title of Shteyngart’s new book and Franco’s “erotic journey” project. What do you think?

Head over to BuzzFeed to watch the full trailer. It also features appearances from actress Rashida Jones, Freedom author Jonathan Franzen, writer David Ebershoff, filmmaker Alex Karpovsky, and essayist Sloane Crosley. Random House will release the book on January 7, 2014.

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Jonathan Franzen’s Career Advice for Fiction Writers: ‘Make yourself an expert at some arcane thing’

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Scratch Magazine has opened online, running  a long interview with Jonathan Franzen in its first issue.

Franzen spoke frankly about his early career as a writer and explained how the publishing world has changed since his first book deal. Editors Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin founded the brand new literary journal, a quarterly focused on “the intersection of writing and money.”

I had to get a job, and I found one in the seismology lab at Harvard through one of my good college friends who was a student there. It was one of those great research positions, which I continue to recommend to all fiction writers: make yourself an expert at some arcane thing, because then you become very hard to fire.

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Jonathan Franzen on ‘the internet’s accelerating pauperisation of freelance writers’

Jonathan Franzen will publish his translation of essays by Austrian satirist Karl Kraus in October, reviving criticism from a critic who self-published his own magazine.

In The Kraus Project, Franzen translates and annotates his work. The Guardian ran an essay from Franzen about why this forgotten satirist still matters today. Check it out:

It’s not clear that Kraus’s shrill, ex cathedra denunciations were the most effective way to change hearts and minds. But I confess to feeling some version of his disappointment when a novelist who I believe ought to have known better, Salman Rushdie, succumbs to Twitter. Or when a politically committed print magazine that I respect, N+1, denigrates print magazines as terminally “male,” celebrates the internet as “female,” and somehow neglects to consider the internet’s accelerating pauperisation of freelance writers.

Jonathan Franzen To Discuss Play Based on His Memoir

Novelist Jonathan Franzen and director Daniel Fish will participate in a special talkback called “Franzen on Franzen.” This conversation event takes place on November 15th at New York City-based theatre, The Duke on 42nd Street.

Attendees will first view a 7 p.m. performance of House for Sale, a dramatic play inspired by Franzen’s memoir The Discomfort Zone. Directly following the play, they will then attend the Q&A. Those particular audience members will also receive a signed copy of Franzen’s book.

Here’s more about the production: “OBIE & Drama Desk Award winning Transport Group brings you the world premiere of House for Sale, the first of any work by National Book Award novelist and Pulitzer finalist Jonathan Franzen (FreedomThe Corrections) to be presented on stage. Gorgeously conceived into theatrical terms by internationally acclaimed director Daniel Fish (The Chocolate Factory’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again), House for Sale follows Franzen as he travels to his childhood home in Missouri to prepare to put it on the market following his mother’s passing. In the process, he is immersed in memories of his childhood, growing up in a place he once cherished.”

Madavor Media Acquires The Writer Lit Mag

Madavor Media, a niche-focused media company based in Boston, has acquired the literary magazine The Writer, in a deal whose terms were not disclosed. Through the deal, Madavor has gained the rights to the print, web, and digital properties of the magazine from midwestern media company Kalmbach Publishing.

VP/Group Publisher for Madavor Susan Fitzgerald mentioned plans for expansion, stating: “We will continue to deliver the quality and authoritative content readers and advertisers expect, and we intend to take both magazines to new and engaging places.”

In March, The Writer celebrated its 125th year anniversary. The magazine was founded in Boston and was run independently until it was sold to Kalmbach Publishing in 2000. Since then has been run out of the Milwaukee area. Since 2007, Jeff Reich has served as the publication’s editor-in-chief. Authors who have graced the pages of the magazine include: Ray Bradbury, Patricia Cornwell, Jonathan Franzen, Gail Godwin, Pete Hamill, Stephen King, Sinclair Lewis, W. Somerset Maugham, Terry McMillan, Joyce Carol Oates, Anne Perry, May Sarton and John Updike. (Via Sarah Weinman)

HBO Passes on Jonathan Franzen Adaptation

After ordering a pilot last year, HBO has passed on The Corrections, a television adaptation of Jonathan Franzen‘s bestselling novel.

Director Noah Baumbach shot the pilot and Franzen produced alongside Scott Rudin. Franzen discussed the project at a literary festival last year. Are you surprised?

Variety has the scoop: “The Corrections revolves around the troubles of a Midwestern couple and their three adult children as they trace their lives from the mid-20th century to ‘one last Christmas’ together near the turn of the millennium. The parents were played by Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest while Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal were cast as the couple’s adult children.”

Jonathan Franzen Signs a Kindle

One Reddit user convinced Jonathan Franzen to sign his Kindle eReader this week, earning a “resigned sigh” from the digitally averse novelist.

As you can see by the image embedded above, it appears Franzen scribbled his name and wrote “SIGNED KINDLE” on the back of the device. Doubters can double-check the signature against this copy of Franzen’s signature.

Earlier this year, Franzen knocked digital books: “When I read a book, I’m handling a specific object in a specific time and place. The fact that when I take the book off the shelf it still says the same thing – that’s reassuring.” He also took a shot a Twitter this week.

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Jonathan Franzen: ‘Twitter Is Unspeakably Irritating’

Once again, Jonathan Franzen has generated online headlines by making dismissive comments about our online activities. Author Jami Attenberg saw Franzen speak at a Tulane event last night, copying down a few quotes about social networking.

Here is a Franzen quote from the post: “Twitter is unspeakably irritating. Twitter stands for everything I oppose…it’s hard to cite facts or create an argument in 140 characters…it’s like if Kafka had decided to make a video semaphoring The Metamorphosis. Or it’s like writing a novel without the letter ‘P’…It’s the ultimate irresponsible medium … People I care about are readers…particularly serious readers and writers, these are my people. And we do not like to yak about ourselves.”

The quotes have spawned a new Twitter hashtag this morning: #JonathanFranzenHates. How would you argue against his comments?

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