by Jonathan Franzen
My second foray into Franzen’s writing, ordered by mistake from the library but hugely enjoyed nonetheless. I love this author’s use of language, perceptions and indeed the topics and settings he chooses. In this case, the book is a series of autobiographical essays from Franzen’s childhood and youth.
He is a contemporary of mine (about two years younger) so the era he grew up in, and the Zeitgeist of his life, is something I can relate to. Even though his experience was in the US and mine in the UK, there is a freedom of movement and expression that permeates his youthful experiences and this resonates to quite an extent with what I remember of my younger years. I don’t think my own children, or the children of today, had this amount of freedom. Perhaps they are safer as a result – but at a price.
I have another volume of Franzen essays to look forward to (this time purchased, so I can take my time with them). And then I will savour (I hope) his other novels, and hope that he has a few more in him!