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Jonathan Franzen

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2012 | By Jamie Wetherbe
"House for Sale," a stage adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's essay, will make its off-Broadway debut Oct. 21 to Nov. 18 at the Duke on 42nd Street. In the piece, Franzen wrote about trying to sell his childhood home after his mother's death for a price she would find appropriate. Daniel Fish, who adapted the piece and will direct the show, said Franzen's essay will be presented on stage verbatim, although not entirely the way the National Book Award-winning novelist wrote it. The cast includes Rob Campbell, Christina Rouner, Lisa Joyce, Merritt Janson and Michael Rudko.
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NEWS
November 30, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- President Obama stocked up on more than 20 books Saturday in a rare stop at a local bookstore, part of an effort to support small businesses. The president's visit the day after Black Friday to Politics & Prose, a Washington landmark, was timed to Small Business Saturday, but will likely pique more interest for sparking a regular political ritual -- picking apart the president's book choices. As a window into what the leader of the free world is thinking, the chief executive's reading list has long been the subject of armchair analysis.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 16, 2010
BOOKS Following in the footsteps of 2001's "The Corrections," Jonathan Franzen's latest novel, "Freedom," has ignited several fires of controversy across the literary landscape. The biggest rager started with a disgruntled Twitter burst from author Jennifer Weiner, who coined the term "Franzenfreude," for the pain she gets reading the multiple flattering reviews showered on the writer. In this Aloud discussion with Meghan Daum, an Op-Ed columnist for the Times and author of the memoir "Life Would Be Perfect if I Lived in That House," Franzen's complicated position as the literary scene's champion of realism — and its biggest blank scrim, fairly or not, for projecting all kinds of anxiety regarding the current state of literature — will no doubt be examined, alongside the themes of "Freedom," which includes environmentalism and a family in dissolution.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Fall is a terrific time to be a reader. Publishers shake off their summer doldrums and get down to business again. And writers? Well, writers settle in also and put out big books. Over the next few months alone, we'll see new releases from an array of authors: Dave Eggers, Dana Goodyear, Elizabeth Gilbert and Donna Tartt among them. There are so many new titles that it's impossible to keep track of them. As to what we are to make of this, I choose to find it reassuring, a reminder that, despite the vagaries of the industry, the fundamentals haven't changed.
BOOKS
September 4, 1988 | RICHARD EDER
Jonathan Franzen has written a novel of our times; so imaginatively and expansively of our times, that it seems ahead of them. The news we get about ourselves is always a little out of date. Anyone able to look very hard at where we are right now edges on prophesy. "The 27th City" is Franzen's first novel.
NEWS
October 7, 2001 | DAVID L. ULIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
On a recent Saturday morning in Santa Monica, the writer who currently occupies the fluid center of the American literary universe sits as anonymous as a tourist on the front porch of the Georgian Hotel. Unshaven, a bit bleary-eyed behind his glasses, Jonathan Franzen wants nothing more than a strong cup of coffee, but even the waitress serving breakfast hardly pays him any mind.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK—There are author success stories. There's winning the lottery. And then there's Chad Harbach. A long-suffering, often-starving MFA graduate, Harbach spent much of his 20s and 30s working temp jobs so he could write a novel, sometimes with barely $100 in his bank account. He thought no one would ever read his book, titled "The Art of Fielding. " It featured, after all, some pretty ambitious literary writing, a prominent gay character and a baseball motif, all no-nos for anyone with aspirations to the fiction bestseller list.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 16, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
In a widely circulated interview with Publishers Weekly, writer Claire Messud was asked if she would want to be friends with the protagonist of her new novel, "The Woman Upstairs. " She responded with frustration: "For heaven's sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert?" Her point: Humbert Humbert was a creep, but "Lolita" didn't suffer from his lack of likability. Messud went on to list a number of other iconic characters who would make lousy friends, including Hamlet, Oscar Wao and Raskolnikov.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
One of the bookstores hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy was powerHouse Arena, which suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Despite preparing by packing up books and getting them off the floor, the 5,000-square-foot store, located in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., was flooded beyond all expectations. Water swept through the store and out again, shattering its front door, destroying stock and damaging its sales system and other infrastructure. On Nov. 3, powerHouse reopened, and on Saturday it's holding a Sandy Hates Books fundraiser . Beginning at noon, it's a nine-hour-long event with readings, book signings, drinks and books for sale.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Fall is a terrific time to be a reader. Publishers shake off their summer doldrums and get down to business again. And writers? Well, writers settle in also and put out big books. Over the next few months alone, we'll see new releases from an array of authors: Dave Eggers, Dana Goodyear, Elizabeth Gilbert and Donna Tartt among them. There are so many new titles that it's impossible to keep track of them. As to what we are to make of this, I choose to find it reassuring, a reminder that, despite the vagaries of the industry, the fundamentals haven't changed.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 16, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
In a widely circulated interview with Publishers Weekly, writer Claire Messud was asked if she would want to be friends with the protagonist of her new novel, "The Woman Upstairs. " She responded with frustration: "For heaven's sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert?" Her point: Humbert Humbert was a creep, but "Lolita" didn't suffer from his lack of likability. Messud went on to list a number of other iconic characters who would make lousy friends, including Hamlet, Oscar Wao and Raskolnikov.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Some fine actors have contracted to appear in "How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)," a multi-generational family comedy premiering Wednesday night on ABC. It should do their careers no lasting harm. It is the sort of neither-here-nor-there sitcom that can make me feel faintly sad for the form, and by extension for the health of the nation, and yet it is no worse than so many others that come and go and sometimes, to my surprise, come and stay. If it can only stop pawing at your leg and licking your face for a moment, it may settle down into something you would allow in the house.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
One of the bookstores hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy was powerHouse Arena, which suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Despite preparing by packing up books and getting them off the floor, the 5,000-square-foot store, located in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., was flooded beyond all expectations. Water swept through the store and out again, shattering its front door, destroying stock and damaging its sales system and other infrastructure. On Nov. 3, powerHouse reopened, and on Saturday it's holding a Sandy Hates Books fundraiser . Beginning at noon, it's a nine-hour-long event with readings, book signings, drinks and books for sale.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2012 | By Jamie Wetherbe
"House for Sale," a stage adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's essay, will make its off-Broadway debut Oct. 21 to Nov. 18 at the Duke on 42nd Street. In the piece, Franzen wrote about trying to sell his childhood home after his mother's death for a price she would find appropriate. Daniel Fish, who adapted the piece and will direct the show, said Franzen's essay will be presented on stage verbatim, although not entirely the way the National Book Award-winning novelist wrote it. The cast includes Rob Campbell, Christina Rouner, Lisa Joyce, Merritt Janson and Michael Rudko.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Tribune newspapers
Farther Away Essays Jonathan Franzen Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 322 pp., $26 I didn't much like Jonathan Franzen's essay "Farther Away" when I read it a year ago in the New Yorker. A complicated mishmash of a piece, it seeks to juxtapose the author's visit to the South Pacific island of Masafuera, renamed in the 1960s "for Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish seaman whose tale of solitary living … was probably the basis for Daniel Defoe's novel 'Robinson Crusoe,'" with his thoughts on Defoe and on the novel, and, most important, the effort to process the death of his close friend and sometime literary rival David Foster Wallace, who hanged himself in 2008.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK—There are author success stories. There's winning the lottery. And then there's Chad Harbach. A long-suffering, often-starving MFA graduate, Harbach spent much of his 20s and 30s working temp jobs so he could write a novel, sometimes with barely $100 in his bank account. He thought no one would ever read his book, titled "The Art of Fielding. " It featured, after all, some pretty ambitious literary writing, a prominent gay character and a baseball motif, all no-nos for anyone with aspirations to the fiction bestseller list.
OPINION
June 17, 2011 | By Sara Barbour
Several weeks into December last year, my parents suggested I might like a Kindle for Christmas. I was sitting in my room at school, and my eyes darted to the bookshelf on my left. From the silence on the line they could tell I wasn't enthusiastic; I muttered something about not needing another gadget, mostly because I couldn't find a way to shape my reluctance into words. The conversation was tactfully forgotten, and Christmas morning, as my grandmother happily unwrapped a Kindle, I found a Jonathan Franzen novel and a new pair of Ugg boots under the tree.
NEWS
November 30, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- President Obama stocked up on more than 20 books Saturday in a rare stop at a local bookstore, part of an effort to support small businesses. The president's visit the day after Black Friday to Politics & Prose, a Washington landmark, was timed to Small Business Saturday, but will likely pique more interest for sparking a regular political ritual -- picking apart the president's book choices. As a window into what the leader of the free world is thinking, the chief executive's reading list has long been the subject of armchair analysis.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
It may be impossible for an author to achieve more acclaim than Toni Morrison, now 81, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. Her work is "characterized by visionary force and poetic import," the Nobel Committee wrote, and we'll get more of it May 8, when her 10th novel is published. "Home" is the story of an angry African American veteran of the Korean War who returns, unhappily, to the Georgia community where he was raised. She's not the only Nobel Prize winner returning to shelves.
OPINION
June 17, 2011 | By Sara Barbour
Several weeks into December last year, my parents suggested I might like a Kindle for Christmas. I was sitting in my room at school, and my eyes darted to the bookshelf on my left. From the silence on the line they could tell I wasn't enthusiastic; I muttered something about not needing another gadget, mostly because I couldn't find a way to shape my reluctance into words. The conversation was tactfully forgotten, and Christmas morning, as my grandmother happily unwrapped a Kindle, I found a Jonathan Franzen novel and a new pair of Ugg boots under the tree.
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