Fourteen years ago, Jonathan Franzen declared in Harper's magazine that sweeping, socially engaged novels by serious writers had lost their appeal. He then went on to write a sweeping, socially engaged novel that sold more than 1.5 million copies and won the National Book Award.
Nearly a decade after his 2001 novel The Corrections, Franzen is attempting to prove himself wrong a second time.
Freedom, due to be published in October 2010, is a multi-generational epic that follows an idealistic young couple that settles in a rough neighbourhood of St Paul, Minnesota. A very powerful insight into the disillusion of marriage, and a story about the challenges, burdens and opportunities of personal freedom, the novel is full of the more generous ironies that endeared The Corrections to readers and literary reviewers alike. Freedom is guaranteed to cause a stir with its uncompromising, fluent and expressive account of the personal and political in contemporary American society.