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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.”

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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