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Posts tagged ‘Purity’


Jonathan Franzen Is Really The Great American Essayist

He’s not the richest or the most famous. His characters don’t solve mysteries, have magical powers or live in the future…but he shows us the way we live now.

Lev Grossman wrote those words for the cover of the August 23, 2010 cover of Time magazine, calling Jonathan Franzen “the great American novelist.” In the midst of the great recession when most people were thinking about the economy, unemployment, and the sinking real estate market, America needed a hero and with the recent publication of Franzen’s fourth novel, Freedom, Time magazine found their guy but fell short of naming him “Man of the Year” for writing what most critics considered great literature. Read more »



Secrets were power. Money was power. Being needed was power. Power, power, power: how could the world be organized around the struggle for a thing so lonely and oppressive in the having of it?

In Jonathan Franzen’s newest novel Purity, the author introduces the reader to Purity (“Pip”) Tyler, a 23-year old recent college graduate with $130,000 in student loan debt living in a squatter’s house in Oakland, California. Distancing herself from the mother who raised her in the Santa Cruz mountains, trying to find her biological father, and employed in a dead-end job, Pip is all but disillusioned about the world and the impact she will make on it. ¬†When offered an internship to work for the Sunlight Project – an organization that prides itself on leaking government secrets – in Bolivia, Pip takes a leap of faith, quits her job, packs up, and moves to South America. Read more »