From Intelligence Squared:
‘If there is one English-language writer today with the ambition and talent to make the literary novel seem truly meaningful again, both as a vehicle of mass entertainment and as a serious record of our times, it is Jonathan Franzen.’ – The Observer
“The American novelist Jonathan Franzen has been hailed as ‘the nearest we have to a contemporary Tolstoy’. His sweeping portraits of modern life, seen through the lens of a single family’s troubles, have reinvented the big, social novel of the Victorian era for our times. His 2001 bestseller The Corrections became a huge critical and commercial success, selling millions of copies. Franzen was acclaimed as the novelist who can take on the HBO mini-series, delivering the same level of emotional impact and compelling storytelling.
A new Jonathan Franzen novel is seen as a major cultural event. His 2010 novel Freedom was described by The New York Times as ‘a masterpiece’ and was the book that President Obama took on holiday. That year, Franzen became the first novelist in a decade to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
On September 30, to mark the publication of his new novel Purity, Franzen makes a rare London appearance when he comes to the Intelligence Squared stage.
In Purity, Franzen has once again funnelled the issues of our age through the drama of one family. The novel follows a young American, Purity Tyler — known by her Dickensian nickname ‘Pip’ — as she searches for the father she never knew. Journeying to South America, she is drawn into the secrets of her own family past and the secrets of state, when she crosses paths with a charismatic internet hacker.”
Join us to hear the most celebrated novelist of his generation to talk about his life and career.