Farther AwayBook - 2012
Jonathan Franzen's bestseller Freedom was the most discussed novel of 2010, an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the 21st century. The New York Times Book Review proclaimed it "a masterpiece of American fiction." Now a new collection of Franzen's non-fiction brings fresh evidence of that moral intelligence, confirming his status not only as a great American novelist but also as a keen observer, social critic and self-investigator.
In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, the writer returns with renewed vigour to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen's implicit promise to conceal nothing from the reader. These essays trace the progress of a unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature and with some of the most important issues of our day.
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China in general, in its headlong pursuit of money... had already been striking me as the most Republican place I'd ever been. And here, nestled between a strictly protected montane forest and the bright-blue freshwater expanses of Dong Qian Hu - literally, East Money Lake - was Ningbo Delson Green World Golf Club.
"Privacy, to me, is not about keeping my personal life hidden from other people. It's about sparing me from the intrusion of other people's personal lives. And so, although my very favorite gadgets are actively privacy-enhancing, I look kindly on pretty much any development that doesn't force me to interact with it. " P. 143-4.
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