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The deaths of both of his parents, the eventual breakup of his marriage, and the poor sales of Strong Motion brought Franzen to a crossroads where he considered quitting writing entirely.Ultimately rejecting this idea, he approached The New Yorker with an idea for a journalism piece.Major Works The title The Twenty-Seventh City takes root in the fact that St.
Biographical Information Franzen was born in 1959 in Western Springs, Illinois. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, Missouri, and Franzen grew up there—a locale which later became the setting for two of his novels.
He attended Swarthmore College near Philadelphia, earning a bachelor's degree in German in 1981, and spent the following year at the Freie Universität in Berlin as a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship.
Franzen challenges himself to write a “big, social novel” that would engage the American public enough to motivate them, encourage debate, and open conversations about social issues.
Reaction to the article was relatively mild, but earned Franzen a reputation among critics as a high-minded but pretentious writer.
Winner of the 2001 National Book Award for The Corrections (2001), Franzen is regarded as one of the best emerging novelists of the twenty-first century.
A strong believer in both the power and necessity of literature, Franzen has produced three novels which have identified him as a growing presence in the literary world and an articulate voice in the ongoing debate over the evolving direction of fiction.Jonathan Franzen 1959- American novelist and essayist.The following entry presents an overview of Franzen's career through 2003.Using the royalties from The Twenty-Seventh City, Franzen and Cornell traveled throughout Europe and hoped to mend their relationship.While in Europe, Franzen began work on Strong Motion.The Twenty-Seventh City is an exploration of deep intrigues with myriad plot twists. Louis, city leaders hire Susan Jammu, an American-born cousin of Indian leader Indira Gandhi, to head the police force.However, Jammu comes to the job with her own agenda that remains nebulous until the conclusion of the book.The Corrections is often deemed one of the best works of literature written in the last twenty years, as well as the fulfillment of the early promise Franzen demonstrated with his first two books, The Twenty-Seventh City (1988) and Strong Motion (1992).While Franzen's work is commonly held in high esteem, the author has managed to garner significant controversy in the last ten years for his resolute convictions about publishing, writing, and the direction of American tastes.Franzen dedicated the next six years dedicating himself to these characters, ultimately creating the Lambert family, who form the narrative core of the novel.In 2001 his publisher engineered strong word-of-mouth hype about the book, making its release one of the most anticipated of the season.