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Noted crankypants Jonathan Franzen has apparently stopped hating stuff long enough to allow Swarthmore professor Philip Weinstein to write a biography of him. It's going to be called Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage. Most living novelists don't get biographies, as the New York Times points out, and especially not ones who have only produced four novels, two of which were best sellers (The Corrections and Freedom). But like, Franzen is a big deal you guys.
Publisher Bloomsbury says it'll be about "Franzen’s metamorphoses as a person and as a writer — from his ultrasensitive childhood through his Swarthmore years, his troubled marriage and his tumultuous self-reappraisal during the 1990s, up to his arrival on the mainstream cultural scene as a literary icon.” Weinstein says he isn't going to dig up any dirt though, which seems obviously since it's an authorized biography, but still—then what's the point?
"It doesn’t pretend to be a full-scale biography. It’s too early for that. He’s in full career mode. Someone later, a generation from now, will do that biography. It’s a report on who he is," Weinstein says. He's also using only Franzen's autobiographical writings for details about his life, apart from a mere two-hour interview with the author.
Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage is set for publication next fall.
[via the NYT]