Jonathan Franzen is one of those writers who I’ve always avoided. Initially, I didn’t mean to. But when a writer is labelled as the Great American novelist or some such grandiose term, I tend to back away from their books. And then I read about all his weird interviews, and the bird-watching (not that I have anything against it), and most important – the number of reviews that talk about his white male worldview, and his problematic approach to writing female characters. Let’s say nothing I read compelled me to go read his books.
This year however, something made me change my mind. #FranzeninFebruary happened and I saw a number of tweets chattering on about all the Franzen books. Finally, reading Laura Frey’s tweets convinced me that there wouldn’t be any harm in reading one of his books, and trying him out for myself.