Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
23 September 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 4:05am

Words in pictures: Jonathan Franzen

The novelist discusses his new book and the "sorry truth about writers".

By Staff Blogger

It is our job [as fiction writers], to create books that are compelling enough to pull a reader out of that crazy, beeping world and into a quiet place to have a real experience for twenty hours. And if enough of us can keep doing that, we’ll keep the thing going.

In this clip, Jonathan Franzen discusses his latest novel, Freedom, and what motivates him to write, the comfort of satire (and why Freedom isn’t satirical), and what his friends and family think about being described in his books. He also muses on the “safety” of fiction, the necessary loneliness of writers, and Jane Austen.

Our lead fiction reviewer Leo Robson reviews Freedom in this week’s issue of the New Statesman, concluding that “this compulsive novel is not to be ignored.”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy